“Do this so that you may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life by keeping all his statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may have a long life.”
A Healthy Fear
How do you feel about heights? Are you terrified of roller coasters? Or are you the first in line every time? Does zip-lining or rock-climbing sound like a good time to you? Or would you rather stay safely grounded? There are just some things we sign up for, even when we know that the thrill of the experience comes with a bit of a risk. But when it comes to following Jesus, the situation is admittedly a little bit different. Still, the notion poses a good question for us today: Is fear of God a good thing?
Even though it comes with uncertain realities and most certain highs and lows, He remains consistent. As it turns out, fear of the Lord is an incredible thing, and we’ll learn a bit about it in today’s reading.
A Beneficial Obedience
The fear of the Lord isn’t the same as our earthly fears or anxieties; in fact, Deuteronomy 6:2 spins it as a reward, a blessing, and a learned posture! The Word of God declares to us, “Do this so that you may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life by keeping all his statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may have a long life.”
But what is the command that comes before this verse? It’s obedience for our own benefit, a faith-guided means of walking with Jesus that we may experience more of His goodness and glory.
The Father Worth a Follow
When Moses is instructing the Israelites on what it means to walk with the Lord, he’s explaining that God is worthy of our reverence and attention as the God we’re able to know and commune with. It’s a lifelong lesson we’re learning—just like His people have done since the beginning of time—to trust in His character as our Father worth following in faith.
So, when the question is asked, “Is fear of God a good thing?”, the only answer is “Absolutely yes.” Life everlasting (both in the here and now, as well as in the life still to come) is ours for the taking. As we journey with Jesus, we’re taking others along with us for the ride, that they would love and trust Him, just as we’re learning how to do the same. It’s like this quote from Mr. Beaver in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe: “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
This same reverence is due our Creator and King, even as we struggle with our own fears, insecurities, and anxieties. He is our answer and our peace. May a right, healthy fear be meet us as we regard Him, trusting and seeking His good for our eternal well-being.
Consider the greatest fears you feel concerning following the Lord. Listen them out, and take them to Him in prayer. Then, ask Him to reveal Himself to you in the midst of the things, that His provision, sufficiency, and glory might shine through, despite your concerns and uncertainties. Remind yourself of the Father’s love for you and pray that you would walk in a greater awareness of the awe He is due.