When God tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice to him his only son, Isaac, Abraham obeyed in faith. “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Hebrews 11:17-19).
It was not God’s intent that Abraham actually slay his son, but God sought to test the extent of Abraham’s faith and see if he indeed had in him the fear of the Eternal (Genesis 22:10-12). Abraham proved that his fear of God was genuine, because he obeyed (Genesis 22:15-18; 26:4-5).
To fear God means to regard him with awe and deep respect, to see him as exalted and holy, just and righteous, to love him without reservation. Such fear comes from the heart. Because God is righteous and just, the fear of God is to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13). As Christians, we must overcome sin and put it out of our lives. Having a genuine fear of God, as we’ve described, enables us with God’s help to do that. If you truly hate evil you will abhor it and want to put it away from you (Proverbs 16:6).
Do you have the fear of God? We will discuss how that can be determined. One way to test yourself is ask yourself, do I hate what God hates? Do I hate evil?
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