Fear the Lord thy God

October 4th, 2011


Exodus 20:12-21

“When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke [at the giving of the Ten Commandments], they trembled with fear” (Exod. 20:18). They begged that God not speak lest they die. Moses tells the quaking Israelites to “not be afraid.” This awesome encounter with the presence and power of God had a redemptive purpose: it was not intended to scare them to death, but to instill an awesome respect for God and his word which would keep them from sinning.

The power of the Almighty who spoke the worlds into existence naturally strikes fear in the hearts of mortals like us. God’s children, however, do not share the fear of those who are condemned by their unwillingness to repent of sin. God’s children’s fear is the awesome respect of those who have encountered God’s power and know his salvation. God’s desire is that we live lives that please him.

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