Fear God - what does that mean? It was a little disturbing when I first heard the term and didn't really make sense. But it was explained that 'fear' wasn't really referring to actual fear, but rather a healthy respect, such as you might have for your parents. That made sense to me and was pretty much what I believed that it must mean, and this was backed up and even taught by pastors.
I really would expect more from trained and schooled men of God than the silly thoughts of a child or new believer. Fear really means FEAR, that's why the word is used! Why? Why should you fear the Lord? Well, let's look into that.
God is holy, He is righteous and He is just. There is not the slightest hint of any darkness within Him, He is unapproachable light, purity, and perfection, by His very nature. There is no wickedness or evil thought within Him. So, why should we fear? Because, as a perfect, righteous God who actually defines justice, He must hate all that is contrary to His nature.
If you love children, how could you not hate abortion? If you love the Jewish people, could you possibly not abhor the Holocaust? If you love justice, what are your thoughts towards thieves, murderers and rapists?
It only makes sense that God would hate all those things even more than we would. And here's where it gets scary. We are NOT good. The Bible says there are none found good, not even one. We are wicked and evil and He cannot even stand to look upon iniquity, which we drink down like water. If we were ever in His presence, we would be destroyed instantly by His purity. Who can stand before Him? He has a perfect and holy standard, and we cannot even begin to come close.
Once we understand that we are the embodiment of everything that He hates, we should most certainly fear Him. He created everything in the universe, our planet, the sun, stars ten times the size of our sun – everything! Beings more powerful than we can even imagine, tremble it the very mention of His name, yet we arrogantly use His name as a curse word to express disgust.
We should most certainly fear, being enemies of the Creator by our wicked works.
But He is also loving, and forgiving, and has provided a way for us. We should fear because we are unrighteous and unworthy, and can do nothing to earn our salvation. We surely deserve eternal hell, and are saved only by the grace and mercy of an all powerful and loving God, and by His grace alone.
This fear does not outweigh the love that He has for us in providing a sacrifice on our behalf, that we might repent and trust in Him alone for salvation. Do that today, for now is the time for salvation.