Fear and Trembling

In this modern-day world here in the 21st century, with all of its scientific achievements and technological advancements, there is little anymore that can surprise or amaze us. However, everyone will be amazed when they stand before Almighty God and give account of their life in the judgment. “For it is written: ‘As I live, saith the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom 14:11-12). In his rebellion, modern man refuses to even acknowledge God as LORD or Creator (Rom 1:18-25). But when modern man stands before Jehovah God and gazes upon His majesty and glory, he will be dumbfounded, astonished and awestruck!

Consider the words of David recorded in 1 Chron 29:11, “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in heaven and in earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all!” Although no one has ever seen God as He is (Jn 1:18, 1 Jn 4:12), those who have seen various manifestations of God’s presence have consistently reacted with fear and trembling.

 For example, when the LORD appeared to Israel in the desert at Mount Sinai, he came to them “in a thick cloud” (Ex 19:9), and “all the people witnessed the thundering, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off” (Ex 20:18). “And so terrifying was the sight, that Moses said, ‘I am exceedingly afraid and trembling” (Heb 12:21)

Though often neglected or willfully ignored, this “fear of the LORD,” – this attitude of respect, reverence and awe – this practice of surrender, submission and obedience to the Almighty – is an essential element in the Christian faith. The scriptures teach that the “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Pr 1:7; 9:10).  They further teach that we are to “serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Ps 2:11), and “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12).

Solomon summarizes by saying: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecc 12:13). Fearing the LORD means having a proper regard and respect for God which is demonstrated by a submissive spirit of humility and faithful, loving obedience. As the LORD says: “But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word!” (Is 66:2).

Terry Schmidt

07-02-17

 


 

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