Yahshua’s arrival in our world brought a fresh understanding of Yahweh and a subsequent change in the relationship between our Creator and us. We now see Him as our Father, Someone we can approach with childlike confidence; Someone who watches over and cares for us; Someone who, amazingly, is concerned with even the small details of our lives. This is a wonderful shift in our interaction and to be enjoyed with intensity. I am, however, cautioned in this by a pertinent English proverb, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” This simply means that extensive knowledge of or close association with someone or something leads to a loss of respect for them or it. We should never allow our ever-increasing familiarity with Yahweh to deteriorate into a casual contempt for the extraordinary grace and favour that He imparts to us. How dreadful that sounds.
As humans we are exposed to many kinds of fear (and our world seems increasingly plagued by it!) yet these types of fear have no place in the heart of a believer in Yahshua. There is, however, a cleansing fear; a fear filled with awe, with respect, with reverence for Yahweh, that will purify the soul, strengthen the heart, lighten the spirit, and become a foundation in life for ever-increasing wisdom. And wisdom, says the scriptures, ‘…will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.’ (Proverbs 10:11-12 NLT)
William Barclay reflects that, ‘The fear of [Yahweh] is the foundation of reverence, the mainspring of obedience and the secret of that courage which will be true to the end.’