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.”

‘He who fears God has nothing else to fear.’ C.H.Spurgeon.

Early on in my ministry, I read a book entitled ‘Worship the Lord’ by Jock Anderson. I seem to remember one chapter being entitled, ‘Awe and intimacy.’ Biblical worship involves both elements. Perhaps, in this New Covenant era, we tend to veer more towards the intimacy. This is a most precious reality made possible by Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and it is to be prized. But we mustn’t let the pendulum swing further than it should in that direction. The God of the Bible is to be ‘feared’, in the sense that we are to revere Him and be in awe of Him. If He were to display His presence and power at the next church service we attend, we might respond a little more like the Israelites did at the foot of Mount Sinai. Of course, the salvation Jesus bought for us makes all the difference in the world, but an awe-filled reverence should combine with a joyful, grateful closeness.

‘The greatness of God rouses fear within us, but His goodness encourages us not to be afraid of Him. To fear and not be afraid – that is the paradox of faith.’ A.W.Tozer