If God is a loving God, why does he want to be feared?
Job 28:28 And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.
Using Strong’s Concordance: Fear 03372 ירא yare’ v; Translated in the King James Version, ‘fear’ 188 times, ‘afraid’ 78 times, ‘terrible’ 23 times, ‘terrible thing’ 6 times, ‘dreadful’ 5 times, ‘reverence’ 3 times, ‘fearful’ 2 times, ‘terrible acts’ 1 time, misc 8 times.
Meaning: to fear, revere, be afraid
Fear is a logical and sensible reaction to the Creator who holds our life in his hands, but what God requires of us is not terror but reverence – that we might be motivated to do that which is right in his sight. If we reverence God we will stop doing evil in our lives.
Reverence is due to him because of the love he has shown to mankind and the purpose he has with his creation. He created us with freewill so that we can choose whether we want to be part of his purpose or not. As a consequence of exercising freewill, Adam and Eve disobeyed God bringing sin and death (the punishment for sin) upon themselves and their progeny.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned
God immediately set in motion a plan of redemption for those who would reverence him and try to live by his commandments. God promised to provide a redeemer who was to be born to a woman. This promise was fulfilled in the birth of God’s Son, conceived in the womb of Mary (a descendant of Abraham and David) by the power of God. He is called Jesus which is the Greek form of the Hebrew ‘Joshua’ or ‘Yashua’ which means ‘God saves’ or ‘the salvation of God’. Jesus sacrificed his perfect life as a sin offering to provide remission of sin for the faithful of all ages. This was a demonstration God’s love for his creation.
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
What God requires of us is not fear but love.
1 John 4:18,19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith
If we reverence God and obey the Gospel preached by Jesus and his apostles we can be part of God’s purpose. God’s purpose is to fill the earth with his glory.
Numbers 14:21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD
His glory will be in the form of men and women raised from the dead and given the divine nature, with whom and in whom God will live forever.
2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead to eternal life. The faithful will be raised from the dead to eternal life when Jesus returns from heaven to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth. He will rule over the mortal population of the earth for 1000 years.
Paul explains what is going to happen:
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign (his 1000 year reign) till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
After his millennial reign there will be a second resurrection and final judgment. All who live on after this will possess the divine nature for eternity.
May I suggest that you read: Your Share in God’s Promises (please click on the title)
I hope you find this helpful.