Exodus 20: FEAR OF GOD OR AFRAID OF GOD

Ex. 20:19 “And they said unto Moses, speak thou with us and we will hear: but let not God speak with us lest we die.”

When God gave Moses the tablets with the Ten Commandments and the people saw the thunder, lightning, heard the trumpets and saw the mountain in smoke they trembled with fear. The people were so afraid that they told Moses, ‘You speak for us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die. {v.19}. Here in scripture we see the relationship between “fear of God,” and “being afraid of God.” Fear of God is more like respect or reverence for God. This differs from being afraid of God. How is your relationship with God? Is it one of respect and reverence, thus not fearing when God speaks to you?

Oswald Chambers writes about this verse: “We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us. Why are we so terrified lest God should speak to us?” Maybe we feel that when God speaks whatever is asked of us must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him. Our challenge is to be open to the Holy Spirit, hear God’s command and then respond in obedience. God expects disciples to be faithful, trusting, and obedient. When we love God with heart, soul, and mind, we are more likely to “fear Him,” rather than being “afraid of him.” When you hear God speaking how will you respond?

Lord, help us to be open to your Spirit and willing to follow where you lead us. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen

Brenda Bucher