A Good Reason for Fear

“Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin” (Exodus 20:20). Moses spoke these words in response to the fear the Israelites expressed over the awe-inspiring (and terrifying) spectacle of the giving of the ten commandments (Exodus 20:18, 19).

I find here an interesting point, along with our word of encouragement. Notice that Moses begins by saying, “Do not be afraid.” One can imagine a soothing tone with those words. However, he goes on to say that God had a reason for this demonstration: He was testing them and wants their fear of Him to stick with them!

That may be difficult to comprehend, but the fact is, there is such a thing as healthy fear. God wants you to know that no matter how much you suffer in this life, there is hope of something better (Titus 2:11-14). However, that hope comes with instructions and warnings about the alternative and responsibility on our part.

Love God. Obey His commands. Keep a healthy fear of the alternative in your heart, and remember, He loves you and so do I.

Donnie Bates

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