Afraid of fear?
Today’s REAP reading included Psalm 90. It got me thinking because it spoke of fearing God in ways that often make us uncomfortable. We are used to a sterile and safe understanding of fearing God – almost akin only to awe and honour and reverence. However, in Psalm 90, fear had to do with God in the sense that we ought to be terrified at his wrath and anger.
7 For we are consumed by Your anger; we are terrified by Your wrath. 8 You have set our unjust ways before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence. 9For all our days ebb away under Your wrath; we end our years like a sigh. 10 Our lives last
seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years. Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away. 11 Who understands the power of Your anger? Your wrath matches the fear that is due You. 12 Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.
Fearing God has to do with having the right perspective of who God is. According to Hebrews 12:28, God is a consuming fire. True that He is loving and merciful, compassionate and kind, but God is still God. He is the most powerful being in the whole universe who will not tolerate evil. Anything that is impure cannot come near him, otherwise it will be immediately consumed.
God has spoken to us and he sent his Son to us. Are we going to believe him, trust him at his word and fear him? Or are we going to trust and fear other things or people that are nothing in comparison? Moses’ example in Hebrews 11:23-29 and the whole of Hebrews 12 helps us to adjust our perspective and encourages us to fear God, and only God.