Many people like to be scared, but only in the world of make-believe. They keep going to horror movies, but they don’t like to be faced with legitimate causes for fear. A writer who depicts the threat of communism in Central America is accused of using scare tactics. A Christian leader who dares suggest that some diseases may be God’s judgment on sin is scorned. The general attitude is: “Never say anything about God’s judgment to scare people into doing what is right!”
Isaiah didn’t hesitate to use the element of fear in addressing God’s people. Already afraid of the Assyrians, they accused him of treason because he warned the king against making an alliance with this nation. His response could be paraphrased as follows: “You have far more reason to be afraid of what God will do than of what Assyria will do.” He told them that if they made an alliance with Assyria they would be punished by God. The Almighty would become a rock to cause them to stumble, and a trap to take away their freedom.
The Bible declares that those who reject Jesus and continue in their wicked ways will find God to be their enemy. That’s scary! But if this thought motivates a person to trust Him for salvation, it has served a good purpose. Similarly, if fear causes a Christian to serve the Lord with new zeal, it has fulfilled a positive function. The fear of God is good because it leads to right living – even if it scares you. – Herbert Vander Lugt
God dwells in light and holiness,
In splendor and in might;
And godly fear of His great power
Can help us do what’s right. – D. J. De Haan
Fear God and you will have nothing else to fear.
- July 9, 1987, Our Daily Bread