Summary: How can you love the Fearsome God? Did God give you a heart to really fear Him, so you can also enjoy His blessings?
“And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Your forefathers who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky” (Deut. 10:12-22, NIV).
Let’s read again verse 12-13, “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?”
What does the Lord your God ask of you…? The verse continues, “but to fear the LORD your God…” And you can also find the words, “to love him.”
How can we love the Fearsome God? Or to fear the Loving God?
We try to explain that to “fear” God means we ought to revere or respect Him. But, the Son of God made it clear that we should really fear God.
Jesus Christ said in Luke 12:5, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” We read also in Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
According to Christ, we need to really fear or be afraid of “the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” He is a Fearsome God.
We read also in Deut. 4:23-24, “Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
Psalm 18:8 adds, “Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.”
And the prophet Isaiah declares:
“See, the Name of the LORD comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire. His breath is like a rushing torrent, rising up to the neck. He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction… The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.” (Isa. 30:27-28, 30)
“The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: ‘Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?’" Isa. 33:14.)
The psalmist also proclaims, “Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you” (Psalm 90:11).
We read the same verse in New King James Version, “Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.” The Contemporary English version states, “No one knows the full power of your furious anger, but it is as great as the fear that we owe to you.” The Good News Translation renders it: “Who has felt the full power of your anger? Who knows what fear your fury can bring?”
No wonder, “Even the demons… shudder (or tremble.)” The psalmist also states in Psalm 119:120, “My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.”