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Fearing God

Disobeying God, doing things that are displeasing to him, and not being submitted to him are certainly conditions under which suffering, loss, and destruction may occur. God may permit the loss to occur, or he may act to cause us to suffer destruction or loss. In this case, fear of the Lord includes fearing God as the source of loss. This motivates us to avoid the conditions of disobeying him and doing things displeasing to him.

Consider the examples where destruction came from God.
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16-29)
  • The Egyptian army (Exodus 14:13-31)
  • Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Numbers 16:1-35)
In the example of the Egyptian army, Israel was threatened with destruction by the Egyptian army. God told them to be at peace and not to fear the loss, they could rely on him to overcome the forces working to cause their destruction. (Exodus 14:13,14) After God destroyed the army the people feared and believed God. They saw that God could and would act to destroy those who opposed him, but that he would protect those who trusted him and followed his ways.

Ananias and Sapphira:

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.


     Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.


All who heard of the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira believed that loss or destruction could occur if they did not obey God and do those things pleasing to him.

Also:

If God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not you. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward you goodness, if you continue in his goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (Romans 11:21,22)

Dear friends, don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. 
But I'll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he's the one to fear. (Luke 12:4,5)