If you’ve ever played a Bible trivia game, you likely know that “Do not fear” is a frequent command found throughout Scripture. I haven’t personally counted, but some say it can be found hundreds of times. Yet there’s also another frequent command. This command stands in stark contrast: “Fear the Lord.”
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! (Ps. 34:9)
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28)
Just what does this command mean? Are we called to fear the Lord in the same way that we fear harm or loss or some great evil? Are we called to feel terror before the Lord? Does this fear make us want to run and flee? Or might it mean something else?