Sent:  February 19, 2002

Subject:  What’s It All About, Alfie?

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

There has been no time in our history that we as a nation have been so confronted by fear.  When the New York World Trade Towers crumbled after the terrorist attack on 9/11, our world changed and it will never be the same.  As I pointed out in an earlier study, “fear” can be destructive if it immobilizes us and causes us to “freeze” or “give up.”  But it can also be beneficial when it sharpens our senses and causes us to be more alert, to be “on guard,” and to make changes that will be beneficial in the long term.

Even in the spiritual realm, we are to have a holy and “healthy” fear of God.  We serve an awesome God and His very righteousness and holiness should give us a good dose of reverential “fear.”  We are commanded:  “Let everyone in the world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of Him” (Ps. 33:8).  “Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Ps. 2:11).  Our God is a God of love, but He is also a righteous and holy God whose wrath and judgment is something to be reckoned with:  “Who can comprehend the power of your (God’s) anger?  Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve” (Ps. 90:11).

In discussing what reverence for God is all about, Pastor Mike in his study thru Haggai has defined the fear of God as “having a proper perspective of who God is in light of the perspective of who we are.” 

Unlike the terrorists in recent days, God never meant for this fear of Him to hurt us…or immobilize us…but to bless us and to enrich our lives.  Let’s take a look at all the ways, the “fear of God” works for good in our lives”

“Fearing God”…

1.  brings God’s continuing mercy:  “His (God’s) mercy goes on from generation to generation, to all who fear Him” (Luke 1:50).

2.  fulfills our desires:  “He (God) fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them” (Ps. 145:19).

3.  brings happiness:  “How happy are those who fear the Lord–all who follow His ways” (Ps. 128:1).

4.  brings blessing:  “He (God) will bless those who fear the Lord, both great and small” (Ps. 115:13).

5. secures God’s help and protection:  “All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord!  He is your helper; He is your shield” (Ps. 115:11).  “Those who fear the Lord are secure; He will be a place of refuge for their children” (Prov. 14:26).  “Fear of the Lord gives life, security, and protection from harm” (Prov. 19:23).

6.  brings God’s everlasting love:  “But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear Him” (Ps. 103:17).  And this love is immeasurable:  “For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth” (Ps. 103:11).

7.  allows you to experience God’s tenderness and compassion:  “The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him” (Ps. 103:13).

8.  puts you under the protection of God’s angels:  “For the angel of the Lord guards all who fear Him, and He rescues them” (Ps. 34:7).

9.  brings you under God’s constant watch care:  “But the Lord watches over those who fear Him, those who rely on His unfailing love” (Ps. 33:18).

10.  makes you one of God’s “friends”:  “Friendship with the Lord is reserved for those who fear Him.  With them He shares the secrets of His covenant” (Ps. 25:14).

11.  takes away fear of everything that man may do:  “Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty.  He alone is the Holy One.  If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else: (Isaiah 8:13).

12.  provides a wonderful inheritance:  “Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear Me and obey all My commands!  If they did, they and their descendants would proper forever” (Deut. 5:29).

13.  gives wisdom and understanding:  “And this is what He (God)says to all humanity:  ‘the fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding'” (Job 28:28).  “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7).  “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10).  “Fear of the Lord teaches a person to be wise….” (Prov. 15:33).

14.  fulfills what God requires of us:  “…what does the Lord your God require of you?  He requires you to fear Him, to live according to His will, to love and worship Him with all your heart and soul” (Deut. 10:12).

15.  keeps us from sinning:  “‘Don’t be afraid,’ Moses said, ‘for God has come in this way to show you His awesome power.  From now on, let your fear of Him keep you from sinning'” (Exodus 10:20).  “They have no fear of God to restrain them” (Romans 3:18).  “Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.  They have no fear of God to restrain them” (Ps. 36:1).

16.  purifies our lives:  “Because we have these promises…let us cleanse ourselves form everything that can defile our body or spirit.  And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God” (2 Cor. 7:1).

17.  renews our health and vitality:  “Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.  Instead fear the Lord and turn your back on evil.  Then you will gain renewed health and vitality” (Prov. 3:7-8).

18.  shows you God’s will for your life:  “Who are those who fear the Lord?  He will show them the path they should choose” (Ps. 25:12).  “Those who follow the right path fear the Lord….” (Prov. 14:2).

19.  changes the way you behave and how you treat other people:  “Even their assistants took advantage of the people.  But because of my fear of God, I did not act that way”  (See Nehemiah 5:15-18).

20.  provides for your own well-being:  “And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these laws and to fear Him for our own prosperity and well-being….” (Deut. 6:24).

21.  enriches your life and prolongs it:  “True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life” (Prov. 22:4).  “Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death” (Prov. 14:27).  “Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short” (Prov. 10:27).

22.  helps you to avoid evil, overcome pride, and control your speech:  “Unfailing love and faithfulness cover sin; evil is avoided by fear of the Lord” (Prov. 16:6).  “All who fear the Lord will hate evil.  That is why I hate pride, arrogance, corruption, and perverted speech” (Prov. 8:13).

23.   sums up what life is all about:  “Here is my final conclusion:  Fear God and obey His commands, for this is the duty of every person” (Eccl. 12:13).

There is a song from the late 60’s that begins by asking the important life question:  “What’s it all about, Alfie?  Is it just for the moment we live?”  The writer concludes:  “Until you find the love you’ve missed you’re nothing, Alfie.”

To this I say:  “No, Alfie…the answer to finding meaning in life is not in pursuing ordinary love as this song concludes…but in finding and experiencing real love…the love of God and then fearing Him and obeying His commandments!  That’s living life to the max…that’s what it’s all about!”

The Psalmist has concluded so very well:  “It is better to have little with fear for the Lord than to have great treasure with turmoil” (Prov. 15:16).  I couldn’t agree more.

May you live a life of fulfillment with the “fear” that makes a difference…a fear that puts God first in your life.

Have a wonderful day,

I love you,