Fear God and Give Him Glory

Revelation 14:7—“Fear God and give Him glory because the hour of His judgment has come.”

In the original Greek the text may read, “begin to fear, give glory to, and worship God.” What this points out is that those who hear during this time have not yet heeded God’s call for reverence. They have paid no respect to God. They were insensitive to His Word. They failed to honor Him.

In the plainest terms, the command to fear God is a call to show reverence to God and to praise Him (Eccl.12:13). To give Him glory is a Hebraic saying that appears in both the Old and New Testaments (Josh.7:19; John 9:24).

To fear God and to give Him glory literally means to tell the truth about God!

The reason given is, “because the hour of His judgment has come.” Time is running out. In fact, it is imminent.

How do we fear God? We do not fear God by…

  1. Getting religion
  2. Giving resources
  3. Gaining knowledge

The fear of God can only be known when it is received by grace from God through faith in Christ as you surrender to Him as Lord (Jer.32:38-41).

Then you will begin to understand what the Psalmist meant when he said…

  • Psalm 111:10“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.”

Then you will grasp what Solomon meant in the book of Proverbs when he said…

  • Proverbs 1:7“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
  • Proverbs 8:13“The fear of the Lord is to hate all evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.”
  • Proverbs 16:6“By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.”
  • Proverbs 14:27“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.”

The fear of God is not only received from God through faith in Christ, it is also established as you receive God’s Word personally and apply it daily.

  • Psalm 119:38“Establish Your Word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You.”

Are you getting into God’s word daily? Are you spending time with God in private devotions? Are you submitting your plans, your passions, your pursuits, your heart, your mind, and your will to God according to His Word?

Joy in Fear

“I will put the Fear of God in you”!


If you had a childhood that was anything like mine, you have probably heard one of your parents tell you, “I will put the Fear of God in you!”—a statement that was typically accompanied with a promise (or, in my case, a threat) of physical discipline.

So what comes to your mind when you think about the fear of God? Do you think of fearing God in the same way a person fears heights, or the same way a person fears snakes or scorpions? Or do you think of the fear of God as more like having the feeling of awe when one standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon looking into its vast abyss? To fear the Lord is to be in awe and reverence of the reality of God.

When we consider the theme of fearing God, we see that the Bible has several verses that teach us about the fear of God. We learn that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Prov.1:7; 9:10) and that friendship with the Lord is for those who fear the Him (Ps.25:14). But one verse in particular reveals to us that the Lord actually takes delight and pleasure in us when we fear Him. Psalm 147:10-11 says: His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor His pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His steadfast love.”

When we think of the idea of pleasure and delight we often think of it in terms of us, as God’s people, taking pleasure and delight in God because of His goodness and mercy toward us. However, we see that God is actually pleased with us and smiles when we fear Him. Does our fear of God affect or relate to our faith in God? I think it does; at the end of Psalm 147:11 we read that God not only takes pleasure in those who fear Him, but in those who hope in His steadfast love. So to fear and hope in God go hand in hand when it comes to the Lord taking pleasure in us. How do faith and hope relate to each other? Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

When it comes to the biblical meaning of faith and hope, these are not blind leaps into the dark or wishful thinking of a particular outcome. Biblical faith is confidence in the trustworthiness of God, and hope is the most solid possible conviction. I want to encourage God’s people to be a people who takes joy in fearing the Lord because we can have faith that God takes pleasure and delights in those who fear Him and hope in His steadfast love.


To Fear or Not to Fear

I spend a fair amount of time advising my boys not to fear things:  outside noises at night, vaccinations, terrorism, etc.  Though the objects of their fear vary, my approach is usually the same. We talk about the sovereignty of God and how He, in His infinite power, controls all things. Because God is good, we can find comfort in His providence and not fear things that might hurt us.  Andy and I can and do provide cuddles, but God is the only One who can relieve them of this type of fear.

Though I spend a fair amount of time talking with the boys about what not to fear, I am far less diligent about discussing Whom they should fear. The Scriptures are filled with references to what we should not fear (man, death, etc.). They are also filled, though, with admonitions to fear God. When I think about the fear of God, my mind first races to our worship song “We Choose the Fear of the Lord” and then to the passage in Proverbs: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov.1:7a).  This passage tells me that, if I desire to be wise, I need to fear God. If I desire to please Him in my role as wife and mother, I need a proper fear of God. I cannot teach the boys this fear without knowing it and living it myself.  But to live with a biblical fear of God, I need to understand what this looks like.

To try to understand how the fear of God is fleshed out, I think about Genesis 22, where God commends Abraham for being willing to sacrifice Isaac, his only son. As Abraham raised his knife to kill Isaac, the angel of the LORD called out to him, and said “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing that you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” (Gen 22.12). Isaac was Abraham’s promised child, from whom God planned to grow Abraham’s descendants into a nation. Abraham had waited for decades for this child, and he loved him dearly. Yet, he reverenced and trusted God so completely that he was willing to kill this precious child, knowing that God would be faithful to His promises. This is the fear of God: placing His will for my life above my own. It is loving and honoring Him above my comfort, my family, and my own life. I do not fear God as I ought—Lord, please forgive me.

LORD God, You are awesome and mighty and worthy of reverence and honor. Forgive me for often fearing man more than I fear You, and for treasuring my comfort and my family more than I treasure obedience. As I seek to follow You, God, please help me to humble myself so my will is that Your will is done.  Please help me to trust You with my husband and children and to remember that You are always faithful and that You cannot lie. Help me to fear You rather than man and to teach my children about Your majesty and magnificence, about the need to worship You and to pursue You above all else. Please open their eyes and change their hearts so that they might fear You.

The Beginning of Wisdom

I’ll share a little something about myself with you. I don’t like to be afraid. Fear is one emotion that I seek to avoid as much as possible. Take, for example, horror movies. Not a fan. Never have been. I don’t even understand the genre or the people who support it. I’ve never understood why people would spend their hard-earned money to scare themselves. There are plenty of things to be afraid of in the world, why should I pay to conjure up that emotion? Why would I want to?

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. In fact, I know I’m not because the Bible has so much to say about fear. A quick hit using a Bible search engine shows that there are 299 verses with the word “fear” in them and 163 more with the word “afraid” in them. Combined, that’s more verses than the Bible’s other great topic—love. The Bible talks a lot about fear. In fact, did you know that some fear is actually good? Say it ain’t so! The Bible says repeatedly that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps.111:10; Prov.1:7, 9:10).

This fear is not a terror or dread where we fear that God is out to get us, but one mixed with love and respect. Like the kind of fear you probably had for your earthly father. You knew that he wasn’t to be crossed and you respected him. So it is with God, but to an even greater degree since He is perfectly holy.

So if we truly begin to be wise when we start to fear God, how does that relate to our lives? To our conduct? To our finances? Well, when we realize that all that we have is given to us by God and that He has a requirement that we return some of our time, talents, and treasure to Him to support the work of His Church, we should fear withholding anything from Him. He knows all things so He knows if you’re being stingy.

This happened with the nation of Israel and He called them to the carpet for it. He cursed them and called them robbers (Mal.3:8-9). Think about that. God calling you a robber. Men may accuse us of many things and some of their accusations may stick, but when God accuses you of something, you’re caught. There’s no denying it. So rather than rob God and think we’re getting away with something, we should honor Him with the first of our fruits (Lev.2:12). In fact, He invites us to test Him that if we bring Him the whole tithe, He says He will pour out a blessing until it overflows (Mal.3:10). God is challenging us to try to out-give Him! I dare you to try it. As you will quickly learn, it can’t be done.