Why should we fear God? It seems counterintuitive that we would since God is loving, merciful, generous, forgiving and good. If God is all of those things, it would seem that we should not fear Him. So why then would scripture tell us to fear God?
The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13 NLT
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. Deuteronomy 10:12 NLT
God is Omnipotent, which means He is all powerful, so there is nothing He cannot do. In cartoons, when the villain becomes more and more powerful, people start to fear. They are afraid of what the villain might do to them or someone they love. But is that why God tells us to fear Him?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8 NLT
I don’t think that the fear we should have with God is the same fear we have from a villain. A villain wants to take, kill, steal and destroy. They will harm you and the ones you love, for their own self interests, and not because you did something wrong.
God on the other hand, loves us so much that He sent His Son to die to save us. He always has our interest in mind, and wants what is best for us. So the fear we have for God is much different than for a villain.
Look at the below verses and ask yourself why did Job do this?
Job’s sons would take turns preparing feasts in their homes, and they would also invite their three sisters to celebrate with them. When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice. Job 1:4-5 NLT
I believe Job was worried his children had sinned, and feared that sin would cause God to discipline them. Job wanted the best for his children, so he prayed for them. It is an example of how we parents should pray and intercede to God for our children.
So once again, why should we fear God? Scripture tells us that God is:
Jealous (He wants to be first in our lives)
Righteous (He is perfect and without sin)
Sovereign (He is in control, and can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants)
Holy (He is separate from sin, and incorruptible by sin)
Just (He will punish those who sin)
Given the above attributes of God, and since God is omnipresent (everywhere at all times) and omniscient (all knowing), we can’t expect to get away with the sins we commit.
I believe that is why God tells us to fear Him. We should always be mindful that God sees all and knows all. He will discipline those whom He loves, whenever they sin.
There are consequences to our sin, and since God loves us, He wants us to fear so that we won’t sin.
The Bible is filled with verses which tell us to fear God. Below are some of them.
That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. Ecclesiastes 12:13 NLT
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever! Psalm 111:10 NLT
No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11 NLT
Never forget the day when you stood before the Lord your God at Mount Sinai, where he told me, ‘Summon the people before me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear me also.’ Deuteronomy 4:10 NLT
Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 NLT
Discuss the fear of the Lord with your children, so they will have a proper understanding.