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Should We Be Afraid of God?



“You shall fear the Lord your God”, – says the commandment of Moses (Deuteronomy 6:13). Then it will be repeated in psalms, in the works of the prophets, in the books of Solomon – on numerous pages of the Old Testament. Indeed, for ancient people, the most typical picture of the Epiphany is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). The Lord Sabaoth was horrible for a sinful Old Testament man. In this shape, God will appear to those who reject repentance and do not reach to God with his heart.

However, this is not the attitude God awaits from people. Sending His Son into the world with the appeal for repentance, God the Father gives a different view on Himself through the teachings of Christ and the example of His life. Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has taught us that God is our Father (Ref. Matthew 6:9) and that He is infinitely merciful to those who repent in their sins sincerely and want to redeem themselves.

To prove that we can recall the parable about the prodigal son (Ref. Luke 11-32). In this parable, the father runs towards his prodigal son, when he is still far from the house. He rushes to hug him and kiss him. In response to the humble words of the son, who says that he is unworthy of being called a son, the father dresses him in the best clothes and grants him a precious ring. Then he organizes a feast, stabs a calf and appeals everyone to celebrate.

How much wisdom Christ revealed in that parable to describe the mercy of our Heavenly Father towards sinners and to show His great joy about the humble soul of a man, who had fallen before but repented then and came back!



The Lord wants us to be not His weak slaves, but His friends and children. He wants to possess our heart and dwell in it – He wants our sincere love towards Him in return. Macarius the Great wrote about that mysterious connection between a soul and God: “There is no other similar connection as between God and a soul. God created numerous creatures, the sky and the earth, the sun and the moon, waters, fruitful trees, various kinds of animals. Any beast is at His power, but He did not establish communion with them. He blessed only a human, and began the communion with him and dwelled in him. Do you see this affinity between God and the human being? The Lord created the soul and body of a man as a vessel in which He can dwell, just like He created the earth and the sky for people to live. In this body, He unites with the soul which becomes His beloved bride, created by His own image. This is why a soul, which is above all the other creatures, cannot find peace anywhere except in God”.



This is why the way of the humanity after the fall is the way of adopting, the way of the prodigal son, who comes back to his father and does not dare to call himself a son. The same is the way of any Christian soul: coming from the fear of God, it should reach the love towards Him with the course of time. The natural fear before the Lord of the whole world and the Judge of the humanity should turn for a Christian into the fear of insulting Him with his own sins, inabstinence and disobedience – the fear of distancing God from yourself with your impurity.

By Nikolai Pestov

May 10, 2018
St. Elisabeth Convent

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