In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple… [The seraphim called out:] “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said, “Woe is me! For I am lost…” Isaiah 6:1-5
The fear of God is a cord of three strands: 1) the splendor of God’s glory; 2) the reality of God’s judgment; and 3) the wonder of God’s love. When a person grasps all three of these, he or she will be brought into the good that the Bible calls “the fear of the Lord.”
The first strand of the fear of the Lord is the splendor of God’s glory. Think about who God is—the God who creates the moon and the stars. He speaks and worlds come into being. Not only does He create, but He upholds the universe by His own power.
God is sovereign not only over the creation of the world, and the sustaining of the world, but also over the history of the world. God is sovereign over cities and nations. He is sovereign over the gathering and the dispersing of people. He rules over the growth and decline of economies. And He is sovereign over the growth and decline of churches too.
Isaiah, who saw the glory of God in the temple, says this about God: “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness” (Isa. 40:22-23).
People who don’t fear the Lord have not seen the splendor of His glory.
Is this the God you are obeying, praying to, and worshiping? Or is your vision of God smaller than this?