Revelation 15:4 (KJV) 4Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
When everything is revealed, everyone will clearly see how just and perfect God’s ways are. We don’t question God. We have the ability to but not the position to. He is so much bigger than us; His thoughts and ways are way much higher—infinitely—much higher than our ways and thoughts.
Others have a tendency to question Him especially when bad things happen to them. Many times, people can become so arrogant in the way they treat a very loving and powerful Creator. I’m happy the Lord doesn’t always put us in our place quickly. He gives us more than enough time to snap out of our rebellious ignorance and to come to our senses. Some persist in their defiance.
But in God’s perfect timing, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him as Lord. He will be revealed for Who He truly is—in His greatness, in His glory, in His splendor, in His majesty, in His holiness. What a scene that will be. Believers and unbelievers alike will “stand” in awe—one in perfect joy, one in utter regret. All accusations hurled against God will vanish at the sight of eternal reality.
1 Peter 1:17 (KJV) 17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
We boldly call God our Father. It’s to Him we pray. He’s the One Who answers our prayers and blesses us graciously; He’s also the One who judges and will judge all of us according to our works. The appropriate response to these as pilgrims on a sacred journey is to live in fear of God.
We often connect fear to the LORD being our God who judges and condemns, and we connect love to Him being our Father who provides, guides, and saves. But this passage doesn’t show that distinction; the Father is the judge we need to fear.
We have a heavenly Father we can always call on and count on–anytime, anywhere. He’s a perfectly fair Dad. And since He will judge or reward us according to our works, it’s only appropriate that we do what’s good, right, and godly. We’ll always be aware of His incomprehensible greatness and awesomeness so there’ll never be a point in time when we’ll act like little spoiled kids treating our Dad with contempt. No; He’s too mighty, majestic, magnificent, and marvelous for that.
Proverbs 3:7 (KJV) 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
We don’t take pride in our own wisdom. There’s so much to learn; we understand that what we know is so infinitesimal as compared to the knowledge available out there. Instead of being impressed with our wisdom, we fear the Lord and live according to His wisdom. Wisdom itself isn’t evil; pursuing wisdom is wise. But instead of trusting in our own understanding, we pursue God’s wisdom.
We won’t completely comprehend and contain all of God’s wisdom, but He shares to us slices of His wisdom and knowledge He knows are essential to fulfilling our God-ordained destinies, callings, and responsibilities. His wisdom continues to flow from His throne to where we are; He’s extremely generous with it. To tap into His wisdom that’s infinitely greater than ours, His thoughts that are higher than our thoughts, is a blessing truly immeasurable.
One of the best expressions of godly wisdom is fearing God. We rightly fear Him Who has control over our eternal destinies, Who can touch our whole being, Who is the ultimate judge—the One Who has the final say whether He will delightedly welcome us into His eternal glorious presence, or tell us to depart. It’s wise, not legalism to fear God. It carries more blessings than we’ll ever know, and that’s fine. We may not know all of those blessings, but we don’t want to miss out on them.
Exodus 19:16 (KJV) 16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
I wonder how we’d feel when we come face to face with the Almighty Creator. The imagery of thunders and lightnings creates some sense of shock and awe. Imagine them concentrated on one specific location. Add to them a thick cloud and a tremendously loud blast of trumpet. Fear, a deep reverential, awe-filled fear—that’s the only natural reaction we can think about when faced with power—sights and sounds of such incredible magnitude.
It’s understandable that people trembled. However, with all the awesomeness all the combined powers of nature manifest, they’re really nothing compared to the awesome power and greatness of God. It stands to reason why His call for us not to fear any man excludes Him. We fear no man and nothing, but we’re rightly commanded to fear the Lord. Fearing Him isn’t contradictory to loving Him. It’s not a case of either-or; it’s both.