The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
— Proverbs 9:10
We hardly ever hear any more that so-and-so is “a God-fearing person.” What has happened to “the fear of God” in our land, much less in many of our churches? Jesus said that we should fear God. We should fear God, not for fear of punishment (Jesus has taken our punishment), but for fear of disappointing Him. We may be forgiven, yet still bear the scars for our sins. We should fear the results of sin in our lives.
If you had a father who loved you, you can remember that at times he chastened you. And if your Father in Heaven has received you, He has also chastened you. I can add my testimony to that of thousands of others who have lived in past centuries and say that the chastening of the Lord is not pleasant. I have experienced it as you have. Indeed, I can say: “I fear the rod of my Father.” But that is a wholesome fear.
In a world that has come to the place where it despises authority and rebels against parents and schools, state and police, and everything else, it is well that we be reminded that it is good for us to have a reverential awe and fear of the great and holy God who has made us. This fear is elicited when we contemplate sin and not when we contemplate our Father, for there His love also draws us.