Fear the Lord In my BC days, I would hear people say that you should ‘fear the Lord’ and my initial understanding was that you should be fearful of God’s wrath. Like a stern father, ready to dispense punishment the moment you step out of line. As I started to study the Scriptures, this view began to change. As I continued to read, my understanding of the phrase ‘fear the Lord, evolved from dreading God’s wrath to a respect for a loving Father. This respect in turn shapes all Christians to be more and more like Jesus. It’s easy to imagine God laying waste to those who choose disobedience. If you have heard or read any of the Old Testament you know exactly what I am talking about. One example of God’s wrath can be found in 2 Samuel 6:6-7 which reads: “And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.” Looking at those two verses, it’s easy to understand the confusion. Like many subjects in the Bible, this one requires us to look closer at the Word. The first issue is that the ark was to be carried by the Levites on their shoulders; not by oxen on a cart (1 Chronicles 15:15). The second issue is that Uzzah profaned the ark by touching it. Both of these events show a disregard for the reverence of the ark and also reveal something of Uzzah’s heart toward the Lord. If this was not enough, God had previously given the commandment that no one should touch the ark lest they die (Numbers 4:15). Looking at the whole story, it becomes easy to see the righteousness of God and even His mercy through these events. As I continue to study the Bible, it becomes clearer and clearer that ‘fearing the Lord’is a reverence and respect for the Father. I love that Jesus teaches us to pray to the Lord as Father (Matthew 6:9). It makes me think of my father who I respect dearly. Having a deep respect for someone changes the way you act when you are around them. When I’m around my earthly father, I act in a way that I know will honor him. In this same way, we are to act in a way that would honor the Lord; our heavenly Father. This is what it means to fear the Lord. Through this process of our fear for the Lord changing the way we act, we begin to grow spiritually. We gain knowledge (Proverbs 1:7) and wisdom to be increasingly like Christ. All the while, our fear for the Lord allows us to experience God’s mercy (Luke 1:50) and encourages us to continue taking our next steps. Want to find out more about what it means to have a personal relationship with God? You can read more about God’s Plan of Redemption or contact the ministry team with any questions.