Why is it less preached to fear God? Why is it often preached to love God?
To love God is told in many ways. And though it is not easy to prove our love for Him, we still want to know how we can love Him back.
To fear God is hard to be understood. Many choose to keep away from hearing it. But why? The fear of the Lord is a subject that gives discomfort to the listener. It is not easy to listen to a thing that you know you do not measure up. For man is wicked by nature. There is no fear of God before his eyes. (Psalm 36:1)
But do we know that we cannot truly love God if we do not fear Him? Love and fear of God are two the same things. We love God because we fear Him. We fear God because we love Him.
God commands us to fear and love Him. Moses told the Israelites, Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 5)
Between fear and love of God are His commands. And His commands are meant to keep us from evil. It is when we obey them that we know that we fear and love God.
Why should we fear God? He tells us why.
Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28)
The Preacher tells another thing in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is mans all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Jesus tells us another reason. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
It is the fear of the Lord that makes us wise. We are wise if we depart from evil. If we truly are, we know that God has no fellowship with sin. That He hates it. And He does not want it to have anything to do with us. We know that God is holy and He wants us to be like Him. We know that to fear and obey Him is our duty all the days of our life. And we do not only know. We strive to do it. Thus we know what really is the fear of God.
But still it is not easy to fear God. Our free will often gets in the way. No wonder the psalmist took time to ask God to help him fear Him. And so we pray with him.
Teach me Your way O Lord, I will walk in Your truth. Unite my heart to fear Your name. (Psalm 86:11)
1. What makes you fear God?
2. What makes you forget the command to fear God? Why?
The fear of the Lord reminds us how He hates sin.