Fear the wrath of God!!!! That sounds old fashion doesn’t it? The last time I heard about the fear of God was when Charles Heston was holding two tablets in his hands, the wind blowing his ZZ Top inspired beard, to the golden cow groupies at the bottom of the mountain.
I grew up not fearing God, really. We were always taught about the love of God. For instance in Vacation Bible School we always sang “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world” ….. (caught ya singing the rest!). So the “fear of God” has never really entered my mind, until recently.
When Katrina hit New Orleans we heard from Pat Robertson which he said that was God’s punishment for that life style in New Orleans (note, my interpretation). Not only did Pat Robertson declare this, even some Jewish leaders said God was mad at America. Does God get mad? really?
But why do we fear God? Does God really punish us?
Why, if we believe that God is ever merciful, every forgiving and loving, would we believe that God could punish us? So we believe that God is almighty, all-knowing and all that is, was and ever will be. We pray “Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning is now and ever will be a world without end, AMEN!”
So WHY do we fear God?
I don’t fear God, I fear me. I mean I fear that I will fail the faith that God has placed in me. It is that God will not punish me, I will punish me. How is that you ask, well God gives each one of us “free will” to do as we please. So where, with that free will, does that leave room for God to punish me? yeah – no God doesn’t, I do. I failed. And what is the worse feeling? Knowing I failed God or that I failed me? Well, for me, that I failed God. I let Him down. I did not live up to His expectations. We face this type of stress in our daily lives right? Our spouse expects us to help out, communicate, love, laugh and share our life with them. Our children expect the same but also food, clothing and shelter. Our community expects us to volunteer unlimited hours to help out in keeping everything clean and organized. Our church If we believe (and I do) that God placed each of us here on purpose to seek a purpose with our own free will then He is unlikely to punish us. In the Old Testament we read where God seemed to get fed up with the Israelites. The Israelites kept breaking there covenant with God, notice that God did not break the covenant, man did.
By giving us free will, God allows us to screw things up for ourselves. Remember when you were learning to ride your bike and your Dad was right there at first, guarding you from falling, but then he let you go! “I got it Dad!! I got it, I got it……I don’t got it!!! “ BOOM ! CRASH ! OUCH!! - “why did you let go?!” This is how we think of God in times of trouble – why did you let go? And we become afraid of God because He let’s bad things happen or will cause them to happen.
God did not create us for us to “Fear” Him, but rather He created us to Love Him!!
So to quote from FDR “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” Let’s rephrase that to “the only thing we have to fear is…OURSELF!”