“They shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. . . . I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me” (Jeremiah 32:38-40 NASB).
Even though David stated that it is impossible to flee from the presence of God (Psalm 139:7), men through the ages have attempted to do so. Adam and Eve hid in the garden; Jonah tried to escape on a boat.
Historical accounts from past revivals record that men tried to escape the conviction of the Lord by running to the hills. And John declares that in the future, people will vainly try to flee from the presence and the wrath of the Lamb at His second coming.
Why do men run from God? The obvious answer to this question is that men are afraid of God.
We might rightly assume that those in rebellion against the Lord have reason to fear His judgment.
However, our text speaks of fearing God in a positive light. In fact, we are told that it is the Lord Himself who puts this type of fear in men’s hearts for their good and the good of their children.
This kind of fear does not drive us away from God but compels us to bow down before Him. It brings us into submission and humility, and keeps us from falling away from Him.
Proverbs 8:13 provides both a definition and a description of this kind of fear of the Lord: “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil.” In order to truly know and love a holy God, we must hate what He hates and avoid sin at all costs.
In times of revival, God restores this fear of Him among His people. When men come to hate sin and love righteousness, it is for their good, the good of their children, and the good of their walk with God.
Please, Lord, revive us with a fear of You!