SEARCH THE ARCHIVE

? SEARCH TIPS
Exact phrase, enclose in quotes:
“keyword phrase here”
Multiple words, separate with commas:
keyword, keyword

We have seen that God is a God to be feared because of who and what He is. He is the absolutely Sovereign, Almighty God, infinite in greatness and majesty, and perfect in holiness. Men have done much in their vain imagination to change the glory of God into a lie. With their idolatrous concepts of God they have made a god who need not be feared. If we truly know who and what God is as He has revealed Himself in the scriptures, if we know Him in a true, living and spiritual way we will surely tremble and fear in His presence. In fact there can be no other reaction possible for the sincere child of God when he stands in the presence of God than the reaction of holy reverential fear and trembling. In our present article we shall examine two other elements of godly fear. 

God is to be feared because He is the everywhere present and all-knowing God. Godly fear is born out of a profound, conscious, all-pervasive sense of the presence of God. The Sovereign, Almighty, infinitely great and majestic God, the perfectly Holy One, is very near unto every one of us. He is near us as the living God of heaven and earth. He is at once infinitely transcendent and exalted above His creation, dwelling in the highest heavenly majesty, and at the same time everywhere present in all of His creation. He is so great that He is the Lord of heaven and earth, having made them and. all that they contain. His being fills the heavens and the earth and is so near us that in Him we live and move and have our being. Such a God is indeed to be feared. A god who is relegated to some place in the distant space need not be feared. A god who is merely the product of abstract theological and dogmatic reflection need not be feared. The living present God is the fearful God. The godly man is that man who is profoundly conscious of the presence of God. He is one who knows that God is everywhere with him, on every side, ever watching over him, ever with him. 

How wonderfully conscious of the presence of the Lord was the Psalmist, particularly as he wrotePsalm 139:7-12: “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand-shall hold me. If I say surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” The Psalmist in Psalm 97 speaks of the fearfulness of the presence of the Lord. “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about. Him; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne. A fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world; the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” Psalm 97:1-5. This truth is both wonderful and fearful. Wonderful it is because that the Lord is present with His people means that He is present with them in all of His wonderful goodness and blessedness. He is present with them in His infinite love, wonderful grace, and forgiving mercy. He is present with them to protect them and keep them under the shadow of His wings in safety. Therefore God’s people are truly blessed above all people. Therefore they are kept in perfect safety and none can harm them. But how fearful is this truth also. The Lord is near us in all that we do. He is near us as the Holy God in all of our awful sinful life. We live that life in the light of His holy majesty. And all our sins are an offense to His infinite majesty. He is sore displeased at them. The God Who loves us and Whom we love is grievously offended because of our sins. 

The foolish man thinks that He can flee from the presence of the Lord. The ungodly man is terrified when the Lord reveals His presence through mighty signs and judgment. The godly man lives His life in the presence of the Lord and therefore fears with great fear. He passes the time of his sojourn in fear. He works out his salvation with fear and trembling. 

In contemplating this aspect of the fear of God we surely must confess that we have but a small beginning of this true godly fear. How often a whole day and even more goes by when not a thought of God goes through our minds! If we would total up all the times of our life when we were conscious of the Lord’s presence, how small would that total be! How different we often would live if we were conscious of the presence of the Lord! How differently we live even in the sight of men than we live when we are alone! How much more would our life be different if we were more conscious of the Lord’s continual presence with us! 

Immediately related to the fact that the Lord is everywhere present is the fact that He is the all-knowing God. There is nothing that is hid from Him. There are no secrets that can be concealed from His all-seeing and all-knowing presence. Again we can turn to Psalm 139 for a beautiful expression of this truth. “O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” Psalm 139:1-6. How wonderful is this knowledge of God and at the same time how fearful when we really consider this truth! It is wonderful that the Lord knows us altogether for then He knows all our sorrows, our trials and our afflictions. He knows our sins and weaknesses, He knows the burdens we bear. And therefore He can and does have tender loving compassion upon us. But how fearful is the thought also that God knows us completely, even every thought that goes through our minds and every word that we speak. How fearful that He knows this as the holy and the perfectly just God! 

How vain and foolish are the wicked in their boasting and in their sin! They say the Lord does not see, the Lord does not consider and therefore He cannot judge. “In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away; and the mighty shall be taken away without hand. For His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He seeth all his goings. There is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” Job 34:21-22

But what about us who call ourselves godly and god-fearing, do we know this? How many are the secret sins that we seek to hide from the sight of men! Do we know that in the light of His countenance all those sins are known? Are, we conscious of the fact that “all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do”? Hebrews 4:13. Do you tremble at the thought of this? Surely you ought to. It is only the fool who does not fear with exceeding great fear at the thought of this. 

The second element of godly fear that we would like to consider is this. Godly fear means that one is fully conscious pf the awesome calling and obligation which he has before God. Godly fear means that we understand what it means that God has made us for Himself and for His own glory. It means that we understand what the Lord requires of us in His holy law, that we love Him with all our heart and soul and strength and mind. Godly fear means that we know the meaning of the awesome requirement “be ye holy even as I am holy.” Godly fear means that we know that God has redeemed us from sin and death for one purpose only and that is to glorify and praise Him forever. 

One of the chief reasons for the fact that there is so little true fear of God among so many who call themselves Christians is their low conception of all of this. The law of God is no longer strictly preached. It is reduced to a few simple outward precepts. Men think that they can very easily be finished with keeping the law. There is no understanding of the profound spiritual requirement of the law. Men know little of what it means to love God perfectly with heart, soul, and mind. There is no sense of the wonder of the holiness of God and what that holiness implies for those who would stand in His presence. How little thought is given to the height, depth, and breadth of the law of God. How little consideration there is of the absolute perfection that holiness requires. How men live for themselves and in the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. How little consideration of the fact that all our life must be lived for and unto God alone. 

To fear God is to know God as the God Who loves righteousness and hates iniquity. To fear God is to know Him as the perfectly holy God Who is a consuming fire to the workers of iniquity. The God-fearing man knows that God is sore-displeased with all of His sins, because those sins are an offense against His infinite holy majesty. The god-fearing man, when he considers the perfect law of God and the meaning of God’s requirement, “be ye holy even as I am holy,” trembles with exceeding great fear, for he knows that he cannot possibly fulfill those requirements. He knows that he is prone by nature to do the opposite. He knows that even as a child of God he has only a very small beginning of obedience and holiness. 

The god-fearing man is the one who knows what it means to fall on his face in the presence of the holy majesty of God because of the awfulness of his sins. The god-fearing man is the one who is continually pleading for mercy because he knows that if it were not for the mercy of God he would surely be consumed in His awful holy presence. The god-fearing man is one who understands that he cannot even begin to keep the law of God and His holy requirements unless he receives continually of the grace of God and of His Holy Spirit. 

How much do we know this kind of godly fear and how much is it in evidence among us? May God give us His grace to be so god-fearing. We have seen that God is a God to be feared because of who and what He is. He is the absolutely Sovereign, Almighty God, infinite in greatness and majesty, and perfect in holiness. Men have done much in their vain imagination to change the glory of God into a lie. With their idolatrous concepts of God they have made a god who need not be feared. If we truly know who and what God is as He has revealed Himself in the scriptures, if we know Him in a true, living and spiritual way we will surely tremble and fear in His presence. In fact there can be no other reaction possible for the sincere child of God when he stands in the presence of God than the reaction of holy reverential fear and trembling. In our present article we shall examine two other elements of godly fear. 

God is to be feared because He is the everywhere present and all-knowing God. Godly fear is born out of a profound, conscious, all-pervasive sense of the presence of God. The Sovereign, Almighty, infinitely great and majestic God, the perfectly Holy One, is very near unto every one of us. He is near us as the living God of heaven and earth. He is at once infinitely transcendent and exalted above His creation, dwelling in the highest heavenly majesty, and at the same time everywhere present in all of His creation. He is so great that He is the Lord of heaven and earth, having made them and. all that they contain. His being fills the heavens and the earth and is so near us that in Him we live and move and have our being. Such a God is indeed to be feared. A god who is relegated to some place in the distant space need not be feared. A god who is merely the product of abstract theological and dogmatic reflection need not be feared. The living present God is the fearful God. The godly man is that man who is profoundly conscious of the presence of God. He is one who knows that God is everywhere with him, on every side, ever watching over him, ever with him. 

How wonderfully conscious of the presence of the Lord was the Psalmist, particularly as he wrotePsalm 139:7-12: “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand-shall hold me. If I say surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” The Psalmist in Psalm 97 speaks of the fearfulness of the presence of the Lord. “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about. Him; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne. A fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world; the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” Psalm 97:1-5. This truth is both wonderful and fearful. Wonderful it is because that the Lord is present with His people means that He is present with them in all of His wonderful goodness and blessedness. He is present with them in His infinite love, wonderful grace, and forgiving mercy. He is present with them to protect them and keep them under the shadow of His wings in safety. Therefore God’s people are truly blessed above all people. Therefore they are kept in perfect safety and none can harm them. But how fearful is this truth also. The Lord is near us in all that we do. He is near us as the Holy God in all of our awful sinful life. We live that life in the light of His holy majesty. And all our sins are an offense to His infinite majesty. He is sore displeased at them. The God Who loves us and Whom we love is grievously offended because of our sins. 

The foolish man thinks that He can flee from the presence of the Lord. The ungodly man is terrified when the Lord reveals His presence through mighty signs and judgment. The godly man lives His life in the presence of the Lord and therefore fears with great fear. He passes the time of his sojourn in fear. He works out his salvation with fear and trembling. 

In contemplating this aspect of the fear of God we surely must confess that we have but a small beginning of this true godly fear. How often a whole day and even more goes by when not a thought of God goes through our minds! If we would total up all the times of our life when we were conscious of the Lord’s presence, how small would that total be! How different we often would live if we were conscious of the presence of the Lord! How differently we live even in the sight of men than we live when we are alone! How much more would our life be different if we were more conscious of the Lord’s continual presence with us! 

Immediately related to the fact that the Lord is everywhere present is the fact that He is the all-knowing God. There is nothing that is hid from Him. There are no secrets that can be concealed from His all-seeing and all-knowing presence. Again we can turn to Psalm 139 for a beautiful expression of this truth. “O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” Psalm 139:1-6. How wonderful is this knowledge of God and at the same time how fearful when we really consider this truth! It is wonderful that the Lord knows us altogether for then He knows all our sorrows, our trials and our afflictions. He knows our sins and weaknesses, He knows the burdens we bear. And therefore He can and does have tender loving compassion upon us. But how fearful is the thought also that God knows us completely, even every thought that goes through our minds and every word that we speak. How fearful that He knows this as the holy and the perfectly just God! 

How vain and foolish are the wicked in their boasting and in their sin! They say the Lord does not see, the Lord does not consider and therefore He cannot judge. “In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away; and the mighty shall be taken away without hand. For His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He seeth all his goings. There is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” Job 34:21-22

But what about us who call ourselves godly and god-fearing, do we know this? How many are the secret sins that we seek to hide from the sight of men! Do we know that in the light of His countenance all those sins are known? Are, we conscious of the fact that “all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do”? Hebrews 4:13. Do you tremble at the thought of this? Surely you ought to. It is only the fool who does not fear with exceeding great fear at the thought of this. 

The second element of godly fear that we would like to consider is this. Godly fear means that one is fully conscious pf the awesome calling and obligation which he has before God. Godly fear means that we understand what it means that God has made us for Himself and for His own glory. It means that we understand what the Lord requires of us in His holy law, that we love Him with all our heart and soul and strength and mind. Godly fear means that we know the meaning of the awesome requirement “be ye holy even as I am holy.” Godly fear means that we know that God has redeemed us from sin and death for one purpose only and that is to glorify and praise Him forever. 

One of the chief reasons for the fact that there is so little true fear of God among so many who call themselves Christians is their low conception of all of this. The law of God is no longer strictly preached. It is reduced to a few simple outward precepts. Men think that they can very easily be finished with keeping the law. There is no understanding of the profound spiritual requirement of the law. Men know little of what it means to love God perfectly with heart, soul, and mind. There is no sense of the wonder of the holiness of God and what that holiness implies for those who would stand in His presence. How little thought is given to the height, depth, and breadth of the law of God. How little consideration there is of the absolute perfection that holiness requires. How men live for themselves and in the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. How little consideration of the fact that all our life must be lived for and unto God alone. 

To fear God is to know God as the God Who loves righteousness and hates iniquity. To fear God is to know Him as the perfectly holy God Who is a consuming fire to the workers of iniquity. The God-fearing man knows that God is sore-displeased with all of His sins, because those sins are an offense against His infinite holy majesty. The god-fearing man, when he considers the perfect law of God and the meaning of God’s requirement, “be ye holy even as I am holy,” trembles with exceeding great fear, for he knows that he cannot possibly fulfill those requirements. He knows that he is prone by nature to do the opposite. He knows that even as a child of God he has only a very small beginning of obedience and holiness. 

The god-fearing man is the one who knows what it means to fall on his face in the presence of the holy majesty of God because of the awfulness of his sins. The god-fearing man is the one who is continually pleading for mercy because he knows that if it were not for the mercy of God he would surely be consumed in His awful holy presence. The god-fearing man is one who understands that he cannot even begin to keep the law of God and His holy requirements unless he receives continually of the grace of God and of His Holy Spirit. 

How much do we know this kind of godly fear and how much is it in evidence among us? May God give us His grace to be so god-fearing.