Why Does God Want Us To Fear Him?

The "fear of the Lord" sounds contradictory when we are also told to love the Lord our God.* Fear implies a dreadful or a bad thing. Doesn't God want us to be close to him not fearful of him?

"How abundant are the good things which you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you." Psalm 31:19. NIV.

People say, "Well, to fear God is just to say you respect him." Clearly, if you fear God you will obey Him and that will avoid judgment and sin. Obeying God also leads to blessing since His commands are good for us. That is a fine starting point but there is more.

ABOUT FEAR
Do not confuse fear with fearful, there is a difference.

Fearful is the unreasoning fear that overpowers our thoughts, and like a phobia cripples us, keeping us from experiencing confidence and success.

Fear is good in that we assess powers that could harm us and we respond wisely. This basic fear keeps us alive and safe, this is not emotional based like being fearful, but is an intellectual fear based on knowledge.

KNOWING HIM
God must be known in truth, since He is truth and anything else is idolatry. Knowing God leads to several responses; one of those responses is fear because of His great power and authority. We become aware that He is powerful, vast, and that He commands angles, stars and time. Understanding these truths about God cause an intelligent person to realize such power deserves a reverent and respectful fear.

God is also holy, good, merciful, kind, and forgiving; these things are true of God too. Knowing these truths about God cause us to draw near to Him in love.

It is not a contradiction- it is a relationship and relationships are always complicated. God wants a relationship with us. A relationship established on truth, our emotions of love follow our knowledge, not lead it.

GOODNESS
When we know God we learn by continual experience that he is good. He is storing up goodness and that suggests planning and intent. It implies that He has goodness in such abundance that the best way to deliver such massive goodness is in installments. His goodness is so vast we must grow into it and become prepared to receive such goodness.

REFUGE
A refuge is normally a place, like a fortress or country. We take refuge in the Lord not as a place but as with the ultimate person. We might find refuge in \Him for a crisis, but God being Ultimate is the ultimate refuge from judgment for our sins.

*Deuteronomy 6:5.

To learn more about making God your refuge follow this link: Click Here.

(c)Adron Dozat

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