The Bible talks about fearing God. What does it mean to fear God?
In times past, preachers talked about fearing God. They also talked about the wrath of God. My wife has said on more than one occasion that she messes the hellfire and brimstone sermons. Today all we hear about is the love of God. The thought occurred to me; shouldn’t there be a balance? Should we fear the God of love?
In 1 Samuel 4, we see that the Philistines feared God! When they realized that the ark of the LORD was in the camp of the Israelites they cried out, “Woe is us! For nothing like this has happened before. Woe to us! Who shall deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the Gods who smote the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.” Even though the Philistines feared the God of Israel, they did not change their ways. I believe the same is true of the congregations of the preachers that preached of hellfire and damnation. Many, even though they were afraid if God, did not change their ways.
So what does it mean to fear God? Should we be afraid of the God of love?