“The fear of the LORD prolongs days. But the years of the wicked will be shortened (Proverbs 10:27, NKJV).”
The fear of the LORD leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil (Proverbs 19:23, NKJV).”
And yet, next, we see the words of Isaiah (43:1), “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you…”
Fear God? What? Is God conflicted?
Not a chance. And to be sure we know this God told us specifically, saying, “For I am the Lord, I do not change… (Malachi 3:6, NKJV).”
The problem comes in how we understand the verb “To Fear.” In reality, we always knew what God is saying, but we lost track as we grew older. Our children understand what God is telling us, for they still experience the context of the fear of fathers. (Children should not be afraid that a parent is going to do them harm.) Do you remember saying, “No,” to a friend that wanted you to take a candy bar from the corner 7-eleven or Rite Aid? Not because you didn’t want it, but because you feared the consequences of making the wrong decision. I know that the fear of being grounded and unable to enjoy my passion of playing baseball was a more significant deterrent than the thought of being caught by the store owner.
God wants us to have that fear. Mathew 10:28 tells us, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both the soul and the body in hell” (NKJV). In the context of Matthew’s story, he is not telling people that God seeks to destroy them, or that He is an unpredictable attacker. Instead, Matthew is saying that God, who holds our very existence in His hands, is much greater than any assailant or power on earth. If you seek to satisfy people to avoid the consequences of your actions, shouldn’t we instead choose to obey God, who holds eternal joy and life? Have confidence and fear God, not men.
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