“We pay God honor and reverence, not for His sake, because He is of Himself full of glory to which no creature can add anything, but for our own sake.”
St. Thomas Aquinas
There are two kinds of people: those who fear the Lord and those who don’t. I have observed both types throughout my fifty-eight years of life and have witnessed the consequences. Speaking from personal experience, it is MUCH better to revere the Lord.
We see a description of these two people groups while looking at a familiar Old Testament passage. Moses was in the middle of his discord with Pharaoh trying to get him to let the Israelites leave Egypt to worship God. But God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Even the threat of an upcoming hail storm, resulting in death to the unprotected people and livestock out in the field, would not budge or change Pharaoh’s mind. Yet, Exodus 9:20-21 says this, “Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their slaves and their livestock inside. But those who ignored the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the field.”
Fearing God always results in obedience. Honoring, respecting, and adoring the Lord will play itself out in doing what He asks. When children honor their parents, they obey their commands. Likewise, when we revere God, we follow His orders. Disrespect and irreverence, on the other hand, results in rebellion. In essence, our disobedience displays our lack of reverence towards God.
Pharaoh’s officials who immediately obeyed God’s Word found protection, while those who could care less about the word of the Lord reaped death and destruction. It pays to revere and obey God’s Word. Fear of the Lord leads to obedience and obedience leads to God’s protection. When we fear and obey God, it’s as if we step under His umbrella and are protected from the hail storm. But when we don’t fear the Lord and are rebellious and disobedient, then we are without God’s umbrella of protection.
Are you ignoring or fearing the word of the Lord? In what areas of your life is God asking you to show Him reverence by your obedience? Maybe it involves an issue with self control or idolatry. Perhaps it has to do with establishing daily time with God. Is there someone at work or in your family you need to seek forgiveness from or to forgive? What sin in your life requires repentance? Whatever it is, I encourage you to choose to stand under God’s umbrella of protection by fearing and obeying Him.
The Bible is chocked-full of verses which show the effects of fearing God. To name a few, when we fear the Lord: God shares His secrets with us, (Psalm 25:14), our days are lengthened, (Proverbs 10:27), we have His wisdom and understanding, (Psalm 111:10), God fulfills our desires, (Psalm 145:19), and we are secure (Proverbs 14:26). All of these add motivation to my heart to fear and obey the Lord.
It’s foolish to not revere and comply with God’s commands, when only good comes as a result. I want God’s hand of protection over me. Therefore, I’m choosing to fear and obey the Lord as I try to live out all the days of my life standing under God’s opened umbrella.
“When we do not fear God and honor Him as Lord, we withhold a portion of the control of our lives. If we fear God we will yield completely to His authority as King and Lord. This allows Him full and unrestricted possession of us. We become His bondservants.”