March 14

Written by Bill Grandi on March 14th, 2024

Fear. Say the word and our minds tend to go immediately to something…well…we are afraid of. We go to that movie that scared the heebie jeebies out of us. Or we think of an event that truly scared us and we have never been the same.

I used to watch scary movies until…until I was scared spitless. I cannot remember how old I was-maybe 14 or 15- when I went to a matinee with a friend. After the first two movies he had to leave but I decided to stay. Bad move. When it was over I was terrified. The two moves were The Curse of Dracula and The Horror of Frankenstein. I rode the bus home that night and was constantly looking around and over my shoulder for someone sneaking up on me. When I got home I would not open a door without first reaching around the corner and slapping the wall…just in case someone was  lying in wait. That was the end of my watching horror films and I have not seen another one to this day.

Fear is seen in terror or even paralyzing actions. But in Proverbs 14:27 we find it used another way: “Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain…” The fear of the Lord is not a terror or being afraid of some one or some thing, especially God. Fear of the Lord can better be seen as a healthy respect for Him. Being in awe and reverence. In Proverbs 1:7 we are told “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge.” We are told elsewhere that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

So when someone says, “Fear God” they are not telling you to be afraid of Him. They are saying to have a healthy respect for Him, to reverence Him, to stand in awe of Him. Do you have a healthy respect for God? 

{Note: All Scripture is from the New Living Translation}


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Pam says:

    I remember a friend who went to parochial school, talking about the teachers, putting the “fear of God” in him. I agree with you that is not what the verse in Proverbs meant. On the other hand, we seemed to have gone so far the other direction that we have lost respect of God.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Unfortunately, Pam that is the other extreme. I was going to put something in about that but decided not to. We have “dumbed down” God to such a level that we have lost respect for Him.

  2. God has my deepest respect and awe each and every day, Bill. Using the word “fear” in these days can certainly offset a person’s understanding of what it means to fear Him. English is a tricky language for sure!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Very true about the language Martha. So many words have changed in their meaning and connotation. But let’s keep your idea of respect and awe in mind.

  3. gail says:

    I misunderstood fear in the Bible until I read it in Proverbs. Standing in awe of the Father and giving God the utmost respect should be something that comes to us so naturally and so easily that it should flow from our lips. Admittedly, I fail to give God the utmost respect at times and that should never happen. I was listening to a pastor the other day who said he hates the bumper sticker, God is my co-pilot, he said guess what you are in the wrong seat. I have to often place God in the co-pilot seat, and still told God He was in control, as I was reaching for the steering wheel.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      it is easy to misunderstand that Gail. We are so conditioned to think “Western.” I also admittedly fail to show God utmost respect. I never liked that sign. he needs to be the pilot in control of the wheel.