In the Old Testament of the Bible we read the command to “fear God.” In the New Testament we read “God is Love.” How can we fear someone who is loving? Is it even possible to do?
Is there a difference between fearing God in the Old Testament and a God of love in the New Testament? Although it’s the same God in both, one who doesn’t change, the difference is Jesus. Jesus alters the way we understand and perceive God.
True, God is to be feared and God is love. This is a spiritual paradox we need to accept.
In the Old Testament, the focus is on the law (rules) and the result is fear because we fall short. In the New Testament, Jesus fulfills the law (overcomes or replaces rules) with love. The result is that love trumps fear.
This doesn’t mean we should completely disregard a healthy fear of God, but instead to temper our fear with his love.
[1 John 4:8 and 16]
In my last post I noted that the Bible says we are to fear God — and I confessed confusion over precisely what that means.
The next step in my progression of thought is to recall that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and of understanding.
I think that means it’s okay I don’t fully know what it means to fear God, but as I contemplate it, I will begin to understand.
I will begin to realize that God is almighty and all powerful, that he is our awesome creator, our loving savior, and our ever-present guide. For that I can revere him, worship him, respect him, and perhaps have a bit of reverent fear.
But there’s more…so come back next week to find out.
Until then, What wisdom do you have as a result of fearing God?