Carrying on the study of the fear of God, there are some things that need to be established from the beginning. As I said before, ‘fear’ is a verb, but why should we fear God? The Bible is clear on this; we should fear God not only because he made all things (Jonah 1:9), and henceforth deserves our fear, but we should also fear God because of what he is capable of doing (Matt 10:28). The Bible even indicates that God does things specifically to provoke fear in his creation (Ecclesiastes 3:14). I know this may not be the warm and fuzzy God of your Sunday school class, but God is a multifaceted complex individual and his ways are far above our ways, and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. This side of him, the side in which he desires fear (which we will define shortly) is just one side of who he is, and to neglect this part of him is to neglect him. We could easily construct in out minds and in our theologies a God who did not match the attributes of God given in the Bible, but that God would be an idol, regardless of what name we gave him.
Furthermore, not only is fearing God an activity, but it’s an observable activity. It’s not only something that goes on in the mind and heart, but something that finds its way out into the physical world. In Exodus 18:21, Moses was told to seek out men who feared God. There had to have been some sort of observable activity in their lives that Moses could see with his eyes that told him they feared God. Did he look for men who cowered? No, he was told to look for men who loved the truth, and hated covetousness. Those that reject the truth as revealed in God’s word, and those who are covetous, by definition, do not fear God. They are incapable of it Someone should be able to look at your life and see this. They should be able to examine you and know whether you stand for the truth or whether you fold when opposition arises. They can tell by your speech whether or not you live a life of contentment or a life where nothing is ever enough to satisfy you. Just like everything else in your Christian life, the condition of your heart dictates the condition of your life. The rise of covetousness among saved people, aided and abetted by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, has produced a generation of people incapable of fearing God the way he deserves to be feared because they are discontent with what they have and obsessed with what they don’t have.
A century of Bible rejecting scholarship has produced a body of believers who can’t love the truth because they have been taught they don’t have the truth, only a version of the truth. A secondary effect of this is a body of individuals who cannot take correction or rebuke from the word of God. They cannot bear it. They are thin-skinned and easily offended. They use liberty as a cloak for their sin, while heaping upon themselves the lusts of their flesh and the desires of their heart. They have been programmed by the shiny silver box in their living room to respond to the truth negatively while claiming to love it. Truth-proclaiming men and women will be labeled ‘hateful’.
A love for the truth, and a hatred of covetousness are two simple heart conditions that, if unattended lead to a world of sorrows and apostasy. Without those two conditions you cannot fear God, and with those conditions, not only will you fear God, but everybody will know it.