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The Relationship of Fear and Faith (Exodus 20:20)

Introductory Thoughts

A cursory read of today’s passage might lead someone to believe that it contains a glaring contradiction. Yet, the passage simply makes a distinction between the two main kinds of fear, the fear of man and the fear of God. God instructs His people not to fear the things of the world so that they might know the fear of the Lord. Each of these fears reflects the level of faith. A fear of the world reflects an absence of faith. It further reveals a lack of trust in God to provide or take care of the believer. The Lord warned His people to overcome the fears of this world based upon His own presence (Genesis 15:1). Yet, the fear of the Lord is founded strictly upon faith. Those who fear the Lord trust in Him (Psalm 115:11).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Abraham had great faith in God. God asked him to do a hard thingto give up his only son when God promised to make a great nation from him. Abraham still believed God (Hebrews 11:19), and God knew Abraham feared Him above all things (Genesis 22:12).
  • (For everyone):  In what ways would faith cause us to fear the Lord? How could faith be connected to fearing the Lord? What are some things in the Bible that ought to cause us to fear Him?
  • What promises has the Lord given us about His watch care? How would faith in these promises keep us from fearing the world and its fears?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to give you the faith to fear Him.
  • Ask Him to strengthen your faith to overcome fear of the world.