There is a paradox around the term “God Fearing”. God is love, so how can we fear love? This is one of the largest questions that many struggle with. Not just in the Christian faith, but in many faith’s.
‘Fearing the Lord’ is used many times in the book of Proverbs. To do so, is to keep us away from sin. In Exodus Ch 20, Moses is given the 10 commandments. When the people below saw the thundering on top of the mountain where Moses was, they were afraid. And Moses spoke to them:
Ex 20:20 (NIV) –
Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
When I read that verse, I am given the picture of our children. We love our children. But, we put fear in them, so that they may make the right decisions. To make them fear the consequences of sinful actions. Stealing, for example. We make them afraid of going to jail, or afraid of how they are making the other person feel, or afraid of how God sees them. We want to make that fear so strong, to overcome the perceived reward for carrying out the sin.
I see this no different than fearing God. We fear his power, and give him our respect, the same we expect our children to do for us.
God is love, yes. But God does not love all things. God cannot love sin, for it is evil. That is why God could not look upon Jesus when he took our sin on the cross.