Pastor Ben's Blog
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October 22, 2018, 11:56 AM

Fearing the LORD

Malachi 4:2–3 CSB

2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall. 3 You will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing,” says the Lord of Armies.

The righteous do not have to fear the Day of the Lord, but rather that day should bring great comfort.  It may feel like night right now, but the dawn is coming and the righteous will rise.

The righteous are described as those “who fear my name”; those who fear God’s name.  What does it mean to fear God’s name?  Somewhere around 300 times the Bible makes reference to fearing the Lord, so it is something we should understand.  Fearing God is portrayed as a positive thing in the Scriptures.  Fearing the Lord is not being in anxiety or being frightened.  Martin Luther distinguished fearing the Lord in what he termed filial fear, drawing on the idea of family.  It refers to the fear that a child has for his parents. In this regard, Luther is thinking of a child who has tremendous respect and love for his father or mother and who dearly wants to please them. He has a fear or an anxiety of offending the ones he loves, not because he’s afraid of torture or even of punishment, but rather because he’s afraid of displeasing the ones who are, in that child’s world, the source of security and love.

This fear of the LORD is very lacking in many churches today.  Many people are very flippant and causual with God.  In their desire to make God approachable, they have lost the fear they should have.  Even though God invites us into a personal, intimate relationship with him, we must never lose the fear of God.  

To fear the Lord means to take his person, position, power, and principles  seriously  as we seek to please him. 

The fear of God means to respect him, obey him, submit to his discipline, and worship him in awe and adoration.  Can you say that you fear the Lord?


10-22-2018 at 12:14 PM
Sharon K Gaskey
Thank you for explaining what fearing the Lord means. I never really understood till I read this written this way. I always wondered how can you fear such a lovinng and forgiving Lord.
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