Do you have any phobias? A phobia is a fear of something.
The word is often misused to mean hatred of something. In today’s culture wars over immigration and marriage, people are often accused of being xenophobes or homophobes to mean they hate foreigners or hate homosexuals. But this is not the correct meaning. A xenophobe is one who fears (not hates) foreigners; a homophobe is one who fears (not hates) homosexuals. Christians who hate the practice of homosexuality because God calls it sin do not hate or fear the sinners who practice it.
So what phobias do you have? I do not have any phobias except one — theophobia, fear of God! I fear Yahweh, the Almighty Creator God of the Bible.
I fear the God whose first recorded words were
“Let there be light.”
And there was light. (Genesis 1:3 NASB)
Yahweh created energy from nothing! Can you do that? Can anybody you know do that?
All our energy derives from the sun. Yahweh created the sun, along with all the stars, on Creation Day 4 (Genesis 1:16). Such a stupendous creation of energy beyond calculation is fearfully awesome.
I fear the God who created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26 NASB)
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33:6,9 NASB)
(See He Made the Stars Also and Naming the Stars.)
I fear the God who measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales. (Isaiah 40:12 NASB)
I fear the God who cursed all of creation, because His man creature ate a piece of forbidden fruit. (Genesis 3:14-19; Romans 8:20-22)
I fear the God who destroyed the “very good” world He had made, because mankind had filled it with violence and wickedness. That God destroyed trillions of His creatures with a worldwide flood. Only 8 people survived to repopulate the earth.
(Genesis 1:31; 2 Peter 3:5-6; Gen 6:1-9:19)
I fear the God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone for their “exceedingly grave” wickedness.
I fear the God for whom the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales. All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely have they been planted, scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, but He merely blows on them, and they wither, and the storm carries them away like stubble.
(Isaiah 40:15, 17, 23-24 NASB)
I fear the God who hardened Pharaoh’s heart and destroyed Egypt with ten plagues (Exodus 7-12):
Then the Lord said to Moses, “…I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. (Exodus 7:1,3-4 NASB)
Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land. (Exodus 11:10 NASB)
Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will this man [Moses] be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?” (Exodus 10:7 NASB)
Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. (Exodus 12:29-30 NASB)
I fear the God who can destroy both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28).
Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5 NASB)
I fear the God who said, “You shall be holy, for I am holy,” — because I am not holy. (Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:14-17)
I fear the God of whom it is said:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 NASB)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10 NASB)
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
Who find great delight in His commands. (Psalm 112:1 NASB)
I fear the God who raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavens.
I fear the God who is the Judge of all the earth.
I fear the God who will someday destroy the earth by fire:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! (2 Peter 3:10-12 NASB)
I fear the God of whom it is commanded:
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. (Psalm 33:8 NASB)
During this Resurrection Week when we commemorate the atoning death of Jesus of Nazareth and His resurrection from the grave, I am especially grateful for this fearful God’s Gospel of Salvation.
I am thankful to Yahweh for creating me. I am thankful for His everlasting loving kindness. I am thankful for His infinite mercy which saved me from eternal damnation.
The lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children. (Psalm 103:17 NASB)
Sinners like me and you can be saved from hell by the grace of God through faith in the Son of God — the crucified, buried, and resurrected Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus defeated sin at the Cross. He defeated death by His Resurrection. Instead of hell, sinners can enjoy peace with God in heaven. Hallelujah!
Questions to Ponder
- How do you demonstrate fear of Yahweh?
- How will you honor the Creator on Resurrection Day this Sunday?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday March 23, 2016 A.D.
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 NASB)