9 “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and Keep His commandments; 10 and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.”
Do you fear God? Do you love God? Can you love someone and fear them at the same time?
In a worldly sense, I think these two emotions are difficult to maneuver. When we love someone, we have an unending appreciation, value, and yearning for a relationship with them. We want to be with them and spend time with them. We know them and trust them.
When we fear someone, we avoid them. We resent them. We may even hate them, to use a much harsher word. The individual may have altered our lives in a way that seems unforgivable.
Here is how I ratify the two emotions as it relates to God, where I both love and fear Him.
God shows me mercy and grace every day. I sin and He forgives. I sin again, and His promises in scriptures says He will forgive again, if I repent and ask for forgiveness. He showed us inconceivable love by sending His son, Jesus, to earth to become a man, to live a perfect life, breath scripture into our world, and suffer a horrible death to demonstrate His love for us. God is merciful every day and His actions speak louder than words.
As for it relates to fear, I don’t want to disappoint God. I have developed a relationship with Him that I do not want to “let Him down.” I know that if I don’t live by scripture, follow His guidance, I will be punished. Much like a parent and child relationship, I wish to please my Father. Growing up, I “feared” my parents, as I did not want to disappoint them. I did not fear mental or physical harm, by any means. I “feared” letting them down as I knew right from wrong, good from bad, and I did not ever want them to be upset with me.
At a whole other level of fear, I know that if I don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross to forgive my sins, I will not spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus and the rest of my relatives that have passed. I know that I will be sent to “Hades,” as the Bible calls it, where I will suffer great pain and “gnashing of teeth.” That is not for me.
For me, I have learned right from wrong. I know the standards and morals that I should live in my life. My foundation for truth and direction is the Bible. The Bible provides me specific guidance on how God wants me to live my life. As such, I expect that if I sin against God, I will be punished as is written in the Bible. As I did not want to disappoint my parents, I do not want to disappoint God. My parents did not deserve my sin, and God certainly does not either.