Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, “That is the first commandment, the entire gospel. ‘Fear God’—instead of the many things which you fear.” This is a dangerous statement. How can we fear the God who identifies Himself as love? That throws many of our ideas about who God is into question. We know there is a call to fear the God of love, but we don’t know what to do with it. Our understanding of love doesn’t mesh with our understanding of fear, and so our understanding of God suffers.
This paragraph in the article, Why Fear is Essential to Faith, in Relevant Magazine (online) by Casey Hobbs really struck me. I so often battle with accepting that God is not just full of grace, but is also a very just God. It’s easy for me to praise Him for His justice when I’m wanting a karma-like-punishment for someone who hurt me. When it comes to justice in light of my own shortcomings and sins, however, I’m short of words to praise Him for being just.
My human brain cannot wrap itself around the vast differences, and yet the simplicity of likeness, of these two characteristics of my God. They seem such polar opposites, yet in some ways I find them so similar, love and justice.
I’m still marinating on all of this. But, I am so thankful for those like Casey, who cause me to think a little deeper, mid-week.
Read more from Casey Hobbs, here.
Read more from Relevant Magazine, here.