"A Love To Be Feared"
The love of God constitutes a reality to be admired, appreciated, appropriated, assimilated, adored - and feared.
"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Hebrews 12:6).
Our Heavenly Father's affectionate and committed devotion to our best interests leads Him to bless us with many moments of enjoyable experience - "At Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11). The same devotion no less leads Him to administer pain as necessary - "Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, o Lord" (Psalm 94:12). We require the blessing of both pleasure and pain in our present existence in order to walk according to truth and righteousness. Our Lord knows this, and in His love to be both adored and feared, He administers both components of His loving devotion.
If the love of God were merely sentimental, as opposed to genuinely unselfish, we might not fear it. Many human parents withhold proper discipline of their children because it is often much easier to spare the administration of training that requires the administration of discomfort. "He that spareth his rod hateth his son" (Proverbs 13:24). This actually constitutes a selfish act on the part of the father and mother whose neglect actually caters to their own interests rather than the needs of their children. Our Divine Parent does not and will not act in such an unloving manner. He takes no pleasure in administering necessary pain (Ezekiel 18:32). But He would take far less pleasure if He failed to do that which is best for the the trusting children in Christ so dear to His heart. He cannot hate us, and thus, He cannot fail to hurt us when necessary.
Thus, we fear His love. "No chastening for the present moment seemeth to be joyous, but grievous" (Hebrews 12:11). We fear the fact of His unswerving dedication to our best interests and needs. We fear the reality of how dear we are to Him because we realize this means He addresses our needs before our desires. Most of all, we fear the solemn seriousness of a devotion that sent God's beloved Son to a brutal cross for the purpose of redeeming many sons and daughters unto a blessed redemption. Such is a love to be adored. Such is a love to be feared. Both sensibilities must reside in the believer's understanding of our Heavenly Father's devotion to us. We do well to praise and thank Him for both facets of such unselfish dedication to our hearts.
"We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
Weekly Memory Verse
And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock.