Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 23, 2016

What I Fear

(4 Minute Read)
Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy
A spiral galaxy with a trillion stars
about 2.5 million light-years away.
Andromeda is more than 220,000 LY
in diameter. (Click image to enlarge.)

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)
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)

After Eden 20140314-1JudgmentCall

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.
(Genesis 18:16-19:29)

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)

After Eden 20140718RestInPeace

Good News

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
  1. How do you demonstrate fear of Yahweh?
  2. How will you honor the Creator on Resurrection Day this Sunday?
  3. 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)


  1. I think this is awesome and God is good! Thank you. I feel the same way!


    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a blessed Resurrection Day.


  2. Thank you for a wonderful post – I appreciate your thoughts and verses used. We do need to fear God, but rejoice in Gospel and what Christ accomplished.
    Thank you for using the Bible to show Truth, especially in creation and age of the earth. I enjoy reading your posts.
    Blessed Easter – Christ is Risen!


    • Amen! Thanks for reading and for your encouraging comment.


  3. I wondered a long time about why we must fear God who is the God of love and one day I looked up the word fear. Fear meant to hold in awe. Awe meant to respect. To respect meant to consult.
    God knows everything: our thoughts, our history, our future, all the people and events we interact with, and all of our strengths and weaknesses. He knows our beginning and our end, now and forever.
    Now, I ask God first what I should do. I ask for guidance, instruction, intervention, provision and rely on Him to uphold me. He cares for me. My desire is that if He says, “Move 2 feet to the right! Now!” That I trust Him and I move immediately 2 feet to the right and witness the fact that if I had not followed His instructions, then I would have met a very different fate. I try not to argue with HIm or try to explain away His instructions, no matter how unusual they seem to my “logical (worldly) mind” but simply to Trust and Obey Him, now and forever.
    I have a mind of my own and responsibility in my own life, but my first responsibility is always my “ability to respond” to the mind of Christ that is in me and to trust Him more than I trust my natural self. He is God and there is no other.
    My understanding is limited and His is infinite. We are in a war of powers and principalities and He is our only salvation.


    • you are 100% correct the word fear does mean AWE and respect! not hide and run! that is why Jesus came so we could understand the LOVE of God! that reminds me of an old song{the love of God}>> listen to it on you tube. The love Of God so rich and pure so measureless and strong ,it shall for ever more endure the saints and angels song!


      • Thank you so much. I was not familiar with the song but it will be one of my favorites now. His love for us is so much more than the greatest love we can offer to anyone.


  4. Bill, I wrote what follows in response to your outstanding blog on FEAR. That really blessed me. It was very powerful. As I get older, and grow in my walk, I am most blessed when I read an article, or listen to a speaker where the Holiness and Glory of God are so beautifully revealed, as you did in this article. God is so awesome that when I learn just a small bit of truth about His character, it can overwhelm. Glory to Him for giving you the gift.

    I am writing in response to some of the comments of your followers who, with good intentions, said some things that troubled me, and for which I wanted to share a different perspective. I hope it blesses some.

    I say to you, My friends, 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)

    I know what fear is. I have experienced real fear many times in my life. I learned what fear means as a small boy, and my life has taught me well exactly what fear is. I have no lack of understanding nor any confusion what the word “fear” means.

    With experience and wisdom, I know what fear can do to you if you don’t know how to manage it, how destructive it can be. And I know that fear can also be a good teacher, fear can save your life. Fear warns you, it can help you to prepare, to plan wisely to avoid danger. Fear is real. It is difficult for me to believe that many grow to adulthood with an unclear meaning of the word fear.

    There are some words with whose meaning I have struggled. Occasionally, I will discover that I have been using a word with an incorrect meaning. For some words, many years or even decades pass before I comfortably lock in on its true meaning. This happened to me just in the last year when I learned that I had been using the word “nonplussed” to mean exactly the opposite of its true meaning. I hear people use the words “peruse” and “reticent” incorrectly so frequently that when someone uses one of them correctly, I stumble with continuity, I hesitate and take notice. But the word “fear” is not a word over whose meaning there should be any confusion. It doesn’t need an updated definition.

    I was a middle aged adult the first time I heard someone try to redefine the meaning of the word “fear.” It was in an adult Bible study I was attending. The person was attempting to explain something from the Bible by apologetically changing the meaning of the word “fear.” The person was doing that thing that so many Christians do when they try to put meaning to something in the Bible which to them the face value of it could not be true because of their understanding of God, and their understanding of His character. This can be a very dangerous practice. The individual who first attempted to redefine “fear” for me was arguing that it meant “love.” The suggestion was that the verse would be clear, more palatable, truer to its so called intended interpretation, if I read “fear the Lord” to mean “love the Lord.”

    Human beings are guilty of many sins. Some sins seem to be common to all. Lying is one such sin. My experience is that we are not all good at many things, but we are all good at lying. I don’t mean that we all tell lies well, I mean that we all engage in the sin so adequately, without training, without strong persuasion, willfully and cleverly, unnecessarily, and with seeming impunity (yet another lie we tell ourselves). Sadly, I think we lie to ourselves more than to all others combined. For whatever reason, human beings are naturally inclined to self deception.

    Sometimes we lie to ourselves without giving any consideration to the reality that we are even lying. We like knowing things: the whys and hows of things, and the like. We learn in our youth to fear being “the one” who doesn’t know. Being wrong in a public setting is unsettling, often humiliating — it can be damaging. It might be out of a sense of survival or self defense that we accept less than truthful answers to things, just to have the comfort of having an answer. When we struggle learning something or understanding it, we often find ourselves rationalizing, compromising reality, or justifying falsely until we settle on a plausible (but wrong) answer. When we adopt such an answer as the truth, and convince ourselves it must be so, we have unwittingly lied to ourselves. It is likely not too difficult to think of some examples where you may have done this in your own life. On the grand stage, I think this is what evolutionists have done. Animism, bad religions, sloppy scholarship, and other bad science result from this sort of self deception.

    I recently took my 8 month old bird dog out for her first hunt training under the aegis of an experienced trainer. I was astounded how that dog masterfully pointed at live birds on her first day. She would point, and lock up like a steel lawn ornament, and stay that way until directed by the trainer, at a bird hidden in thick grasses, from 40 feet away, simply by catching a whiff of scent from a small hiding quail. To my knowledge, she had never seen nor smelled a quail before that day. Pointing is innate in her, I doubt that she ever gave a thought to the process before that day, and I know that she never practiced the art nor studied the ways of it before that first day. I think we humans have the innate proclivity to lie on a par with my dogs innate ability to point game birds. I don’t pretend to understand why we are that way, why our sin nature makes us so biddable to lying. I am only reporting what I have observed in over 60 years of life.

    Another thing that humans do well is religion. Humans create religions. And humans create gods — lots of them. We are surrounded by the evidence. God tells us that there is one God; and that He is a jealous God. He does not want us to give His glory to any other. Yet we do it, and we do it well. God, in His wisdom and with mercy has chosen to reveal Himself to us. We need to revere this aspect of God: that He tells us who He is, and He defines His characteristics for us. This is not a task which He has left for us. We do not get to define God. He tells us in Scripture: “I am that I am.” Maybe I am wrong, but I interpret that to pretty much mean that “You don’t get to decide Who I am.” We get to discover Him, but we don’t get to define Him. That is hard for humans to resist. We have a proclivity, like my bird dog has for pointing game birds, for creating “our own” God, “our own” religion.

    If we are not vigilant, we get caught up doing this very thing, creating our own flavor of God. We do it because we are weak. We do it because we are not humble. We do it because we are fallen, and we are blinded to the truth by our sin. We do it because we think God needs us to explain who He really is, He needs our help to smooth over His rough edges, and to clear up the hard things He says in His Word that contradict “our” understanding of Him: the definition of Him that we put upon Him. We do it ultimately because we have little understanding of His Holiness.

    If we don’t like something that God says, the answer is not to change the meaning of God’s words so that we feel better about the new meaning. At that point, we are no longer worshiping, loving, obeying, God, but rather we are worshiping, loving, and obeying a false god which we have created.

    “Fear” means FEAR! The exact same meaning that it had in your youth. It’s okay to love someone, and to worship someone, and to obey someone that you fear. I feared my earthly father, and I loved him too. It never seemed untoward. The emotions were never incongruous to me. It never occurred to me to not love him, on the occasions that I rightfully feared him. God commands us to love Him and to fear Him; it is okay to extend both to Him.

    There are many examples in the Bible where we must have a clear understanding of fear to extract God’s intention. Changing the word “fear” to “love”, or some other comfortable plush version of fear, changes the meaning of the Scripture. The Bible teaches us what the word “fear” means: re-examine what it means to be “undone.” Why are there so many examples of people who feared to be in His midst, or simply to gaze upon Him? In Genesis 9:2 God tells Noah that all creatures will fear and dread him (Noah). “Dread” reinforces our true understanding of fear. You are not looking if you don’t find such examples throughout the Bible. When we examine the acts of God’s power, the results of His anger towards individuals, we cannot, with honesty, diminish the true meaning of fear.

    Perhaps worst of all, our love of God is denigrated and cheapened if we diminish the meaning of “fearing God.” His Word tells us to fear Him and then to love Him — in that order. When you truly fear Him, more than any horror your mind can contrive, and when you understand the reality of His grace, His redemptive sacrifice to make you one of His, then your understanding of your love for Him is made true. Otherwise you cheat yourself from a perfected understanding of your love for Him.

    Look at the multiple examples in Bill’s beautiful blog which talk about fear. If you examine them with the meaning of fear from your youth, and can stay with the truth, and not lie to yourself, you will be blessed to learn some true characteristics about God that He wants us to know about Him. Things that only the true meaning of the word fear will teach us about God. Things that you don’t want to believe about your god, but things that the Only God wants you to know about Him. Humble yourselves. God is who He is. Only He defines Himself to us. He has promised to never change Himself. He wants us to fear Him, not to define Him, nor to change Him.

    I love Him because I first feared Him. Being honest with my reflections, I realize that I have always feared Him. I feared Him with trembling long before I knew Him and loved Him. Now, because in the freedom of His good will He chose to regenerate my soul, to give me life spiritually, and through faith in Christ, the faith that even He has given to me, I can love Him But I still fear Him. You can’t honestly both say you know Him and don’t fear Him.

    If you are a Christian, pray that God makes the hard things of the Bible clear to you, and pray that he protects you from yourself as you try to understand Him, that you don’t pervert His Word. May He bless you.


    • Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful, irenic, and Biblical response. I completely agree with your well-reasoned essay. “Fear” means FEAR! Fear certainly includes awe and respect, but it is not limited to awe and respect. Fear includes the concept of terror and dread as you point out. Think of the many instances in the Bible where people fell to the ground in knee-knocking, heart-melting terror simply before angels — created beings, far below the Almighty Creator God in glory and majesty, splendor and power. (See for example Daniel 10:5-12.)


    • I would have answered you sooner, but my dog of 12.5 years died the night I saw your reply on 3/24/16 and I did not have the ability to respond until now. I am 74 and my dog was my Christmas gift in 2003. My son was very ill and was living with me. He died Memorial Day, 2004. My dog was with me through his sickness and death, that of my brother 2007, my mother 2011 and my business partner 2012 I had previously lost my father 1990, my daughter 1992, my husband 1999 and many friends. I have a great deal of experience in the fact that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. My dog was all I had left that was in my daily life, except of course, the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not a person who takes the power of God lightly. I feared God until I became a Christian. I feared Him for some time after that. I do not fear Him now. I know that He has a purpose and a plan for my life and that He knows me and that He loves me. I have cried over the loss of my dog. She did not suffer and I am grateful that it happened quickly, but I will miss her more than I can tell you. I know that I will not get another dog. I am alone with the Lord now and that is more than sufficient. I know He cares for me and I understand that He has absolute power over me, but I do not fear Him in the sense you talk about. I turn to Him in all that I do and I give Him His right to total power over me in everything. I submit myself to Him knowing that His love and care for me is greater than any loving care I could ever imagine. I rest in His love.
      See Luke 12:1-12 and John 16-17, Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV).


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