Last week in Relationship Tuesday, I made the statement: “We should fear God for the same reason we serve Him, not because of what He can do to us or for us.”
So what does this mean?
Let’s say you decide to be creative today and do a little sculpting. You carefully work the clay between your fingers, and you decide to make a figure in your own image: a little clay person. Slowly a body begins to form with arms, legs, and a little head complete with eyes, nose and mouth. And let’s say that you open the mouth of your little person and breath into it, and lo and behold, your creation comes to life. And you name it George. Why you ask?
Hey, it’s my imagination, and that’s what I would call him (yep now it’s a him too).
At first you and George have a grand old time. You teach him how to speak and how to live, and you give him directions that will help him to be safe. After all, you’ve been around longer and a have a view on life and the clay person’s surroundings that little George is never, ever going to understand. Every time he looks up at you, he trembles, and you have to take his little clay hand and say, “it’s okay Georgie don’t be afraid.”
However, one day you tell little George not to eat a little clay piece of fruit you made, and he looks up at you, defiance written all over his little clay face, and says “take a hike, loser”, and then goes right ahead and takes a little bite. After a while, George isn’t listening to you at all, and he’s even going so far as saying he doesn’t even think you exist. That you’re just a figment of his or someone else’s imagination. He curses you and spits in your direction as if it could get any where near you. He starts building little clay images of his own and saying, “this is what made me”, and when he gets tired of that, he just starts claiming to have evolved over millions of years, even though you just made him hours ago.
Now, at this point you could just smash little George. That would be no big thing for you. You could take control and make him do what you want. The little monster is out of control after all. I mean honestly what would you do?
And yet here we are little dust people acting just like George. Our fear ought not stem from the fact that God could squash us. He could pull us apart piece by piece and feed us to the dog. He could throw us into a proverbial kiln that never shuts off. There’s really nothing that God couldn’t do to us. Who could oppose Him?
And yet despite all that the fear George felt before he disobeyed did not stem from all the horrible things you could to him, it came from your otherness. And it’s the same with our fear of God. He is above and separate from everything else that is. He made it all. Another way to say this is “God is holy”.
I mean consider the seraphim in Isaiah 6. They stand around the throne of God faces and feet covered in the fear of God, yelling “Holy, Holy, Holy” or “different, different, different,” all day long for eternity.
God’s holiness is a fearful thing, and anyone that would tell you otherwise has never experienced His presence in His real, raw power. And much like George the clayman, we’re foolish to not approach God with fear in this relationship He’s called us to because ultimately the lack of the fear of the Lord leads to sin.
Next Week: What No Fear of the Lord looks like.