Respect For God

God is the God of the universe and the creator of all things; there is none greater than He.  Hebrews 10:26-27, 30-31  “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. For we know Him who said, ‘vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘the Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”   If we sin willfully, and disregard what Jesus has done for us, we should have great fear for God.

The Israelites in the wilderness saw the mighty works that God performed and trembled before Him.  When God came down on Mount Sinai and gave Moses the ten commandments – Exodus 20:18 “Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.”

Slavery, like in Biblical times, is not common today.  We can, however, imagine what it was like to be a slave.  The master over the slave had almost unlimited authority to tell the slave what to do and to discipline or cast the slave into prison if he disobeyed or ran away. It must have been a very fearful situation.  But our relationship to God is different.  Romans 8:15-17 “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”  We have been adopted as sons and daughters of God almighty to receive our inheritance along with Jesus Christ.  We come to Him as a young child comes to his father and cries “Abba, Father”.  Abba is the Syriac word which intimates the affection and respect of a son or daughter and the corresponding parental tenderness.  His Spirit within us should testify with our own spirit that we are indeed His beloved child.

So yes, God can be a very fearful God with unlimited power to destroy and punish.  But we don’t need to see Him that way.  Instead, we need to see Him as a caring God, full of mercy towards us and full of love.  He wants us to succeed; He wants us to live righteous lives; He wants to give us his blessings.  Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”  I think the attitude we should have for God is a feeling of respect, not of trembling fear.  It is like a child before a loving father.  The child realizes the power and authority that the father has, but when the child feels the caring love, he responds with love and respect.  Can you not see the love that God has for you?  How can you respond in any other way but to love, respect, and obey him?

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