In Awe of God

Job 1-2; Acts 7:22-43

Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you. Exodus 20:20

A phobia is defined as the “irrational fear” of certain things or situations. Arachnophobia is a fear of spiders (though some might argue that’s a perfectly rational thing to be afraid of!). Then there’s globophobia and xocolatophobia. These and some four hundred other phobias are real and documented. It seems we can become afraid of most anything.

The Bible tells of the Israelites’ fear after receiving the Ten Commandments: “When the people saw the thunder and lightning . . . they trembled with fear” (Exodus 20:18). Moses comforted them, offering this most interesting statement: “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you” (v. 20). Moses seems to contradict himself: “Don’t be afraid but be afraid.” In fact, the Hebrew word for “fear” contains at least two meanings—a trembling terror of something or a reverent awe of God.

We may laugh to learn that globophobia is the fear of balloons and xocolatophobia is a fear of chocolate. The more serious bottom line about phobias is that we can be afraid of all kinds of things. Fears creep into our lives like spiders, and the world can be a scary place. As we struggle with phobias and fears, we do well to be reminded that our God is an awesome God, offering us His present comfort in the midst of darkness.

By: Kenneth Petersen

Reflect & Pray

What in your life are you afraid of? How does God’s love help you overcome those fears?

Dear God, I find myself afraid of so many things. Please comfort my heart, and help me to rest in Your love.