What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?
The commandment to fear our Lord runs throughout the Bible. Its repetition is purposeful because the fear of the Lord is foundational to life and prosperity.
Abraham's toughest test of obedience came in his willingness to sacrifice Isaac. He passed. The Lord's response? 'Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God' (Genesis 22:12).
The children of Israel's toughest test of obedience came in their Exodus. 'And Moses said to the people, 'Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin' ' (Exodus 20:20). Most failed.
Mankind's toughest test of obedience will come by angels to earth's end in the great tribulation; 'Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come' (Revelation 14:7). The result? To be determined.
Some people are confused by the commandment to fear a loving God. But human fear is altogether different than godly fear; the commandment to fear Him is a commandment of 'reverential awe' toward Him.
'Reverence' is 'a feeling or attitude of profound respect, usually reserved for the sacred or divine' and 'awe' is 'overwhelming wonder, admiration, or dread' (World English Dictionary).
Jesus says, 'I will show you Whom you should fear: Fear Him Who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him' (Luke 12:5). The 'dread' part comes into play when we forget the 'overwhelming wonder' and 'profound respect' that the Creator of the universe is due.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fear The Lord series.