“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.” Psalm 103:17. The air was thick with fear as six hundred thousand men, plus women and children fled towards the Red Sea. The thundering sound of Pharaoh and his army could be heard in the distance. Death or captivity was closing in. The Israelites had been terrorized and enslaved for more than 200 years by this Egyptian monster. Standing at the water’s edge, they had nowhere left to run! Hopelessness engulfed them. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians …” Exodus 14:26 NIV. On his command, the sea parted, giving access to cross safely to the other side. At daybreak, they saw the bodies of their enemies, washed up onto the shoreline. A miracle? I don’t believe so. It was never recorded as being such. But it was most certainly a natural act of God. And “So the Lord saved Israel…And the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him.” Exodus 14:30-31. Dropping to their knees in awe and wonder, six hundred thousand men, plus women and children worshipped their Covenant God. Their Protector. Sadly the story doesn’t end on that high note for with their new-found freedom they began disobeying their God. It should have only taken a few days to arrive at the Promised Land of Canaan. Instead, it took them 40 years! Moses would later say to the rebellious Israelites, “…God has come to test you so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” Exodus 20:20.
Reverence, fear, trust, and worship are at the heart of our relationship with our Father. While fear of God is seldom discussed, it plays a vital role in our covenant relationship. When we disobey His laws, there will be consequences. We instinctively fear our enemies because we know they want to harm us, so we call on God for protection. We fear Satan because he is evil and wants to destroy us, so we call on God for Salvation. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10. NIV.