These days we think of fear based actions always to be a bad thing.
But I was reading when God gave the people the ten commandments he came in this huge, rolling, roaring cloud. The people were like, Moses, you go up there and talk to Shorty because if we talk to him we’ll die! (Ex 20:19)
But Moses says, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning.”
He said “Don’t be afraid” but he also said to “fear him.” And I started thinking that being afraid of, and fearing someone is different. And it got me thinking that despite some of the modern philosophies, if a child doesn’t have a certain type of fear then he or she will be less likely to obey. And obedience is important because the parent knows their kid should stay away from the street and not play with daddy’s guns. And I assume that even though we are a very self-aware nation, God still knows some streets we should stay away from and which guns we still don’t understand the power of.
I think it’s kind of the same sort of fear we have with bosses, or the police when we are adults. It’s not like we assume they are evil. It’s not like being scared of monsters under the bed or the T-1000 running down our car. But a sort of somber respect for something more powerful than us.
If we didn’t fully realize that bosses and the police have huge consequence on our lives, we would be less likely to obey them. And without one mind holding everybody’s wills moving in one direction at our company, or in our streets, chaos could easily break out like a water balloon breaking on pavement.
I bet it’s something like that with God. Because we have a healthy fear of him that knows he’s still big enough to ground us, and knows that he doesn’t want us to sin, we will sin less.
And he’s hoping that will keep us from getting too close to the road, and shooting ourselves in the foot.
Raw Spoon, 6-29-15