Fear is a wonderful thing and most of us have a lot of it. The problem is we often don’t fear what we should and do fear what we should not fear.

Proper fear is protective. Fear is actually a preservative. Fear of life threatening this is a safety factor. The wholesome fear of death for example results in cautious action.

Some persons have so many improper fears they are classified as being  phobophobia, which is fear of fear itself. There are many phobias, For example:
Arachibutyrophobia (Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth) …
Plutophobia (Fear of money), and a new one, Nomophobia (Fear of being without your mobile phone) …

Unfortunately there is an absence of the most wholesome fear. Its meaning and proper application has contributed greatly to the moral decline in America. It is the fear of God. Fear, of God? Having lost the fear we have taken Him off the throne and made Him a tolerant Good Buddy.

In Romans 3: 18 a summary statement is made of decadent Rome: “There is no fear of God before their eye.” Their moral decline was followed by the decay and eventual death of the nation.

Fear of God is not a negative thing. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for fear was “yare.” It meant “reverence, whereby an individual recognizes the power of God and renders Him respect.” Simply stated it means to submit yourself to God in respectful love.

The more reverence and respect we show God the less likely we are to be frightened or run away like cowards from the difficulties.       

Noah had respect (fear) for God and faced the derision hurled at him courageously. 

Joshua faced the seemingly impossible task of occupying the land of promise with fear for God and not the formidable odds.

The resurrection of Jesus was not met with a casual, “That’s cool,” but doubtless with astonishing gasp followed by a resounding “WOW” resulting in a holy loving fear of God. That is the fear missing in America.

That fear is not a fear of punishment or retribution. It is not fear that God will lay His hand on us, but rather that he will take His hand off of us.

I feared my dad. He was a big strong man, a man of justice. I did not fear him in the sense of being punished. I had awe, respect, and love for him that prompted me to want to please him. My fear of him was that I would let him down or even break his heart. That is something of the love we must have for God. It is fear for letting Him down.