No Fear of God

In the church today God is described as a God of love, mercy and grace. Jesus Christ is our defender and friend and there is no need to fear God.  Is this true?  Is this the whole truth and a complete and accurate representation of God?

Some people even say, “The fear of God does not really mean we are to fear God.” To those who say such things, I say, “Be afraid, be very afraid.”

Here are passages of Scripture about the patriarchs of the faith. Abraham the friend of God, did he fear God?

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son" (Genesis 22:10-12)

Moses advised to select God fearing men to govern.

Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. But select capable men from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain--and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens (Exodus 18:20-21).

Job is a man who fears God.

Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied (Job 1:8-9).

Wisdom - the fear of God.

The fear of the Lord - that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding (Job 28:28).

In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him (Psalm 89:7).

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise (Psalm 111:10).

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7).

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of Yahweh and find the knowledge of God. For Yahweh gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:1-6).

To fear Yahweh is to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13)

A wise man fears Yahweh and shuns evil, (Proverbs 14:16)

The fear of Yahweh is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death (Proverbs 14:27).

Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God. Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow (Ecclesiastes 8:12-13).

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Why fear of God?

They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die." Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning" (Exodus 20:18-20)

The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them (Psalm 25:14).

The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that Yahweh is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear Yahweh, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek Yahweh lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of Yahweh (Psalm 34:7-11).

Blessed is the man who fears Yahweh, who finds great delight in his commands (Psalm 112:1).

Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of Yahweh their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because Yahweh their God had sent him. And the people feared Yahweh (Haggai 1:12).

Jesus promises paradise to a man who feared God.

"Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:40-43).

The early Church lives in the fear of the Lord.

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord (Acts 9:31).

Fear God to the end of the Age.

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth--to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water" (Revelation 14:6-7).

Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men (2 Corinthians 5:11).

The fear of Yahweh will keep you from sinning, or you will bear the consequences of your sin.

Richard H Perry