Fear: when is it good and when it is not?
Fear may be good or bad depending on the cause of that fear. Jesus explains the difference for all who are His disciples.
Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: “I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,” but now the Lord declares: “Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” I Samuel 2:30
But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:5-7
Contrary to popular opinion, what matters in life is how you are valued by God and how you are valued by God depends on whether you fear Him properly.
As high priest, Eli held a distinguished position in ancient Israel as he ministered in the tabernacle. Eli knew the law of God and the rituals associated with sacrifices and intercession before God. But he was an indulgent father. He allowed his sons to misuse their positions to satisfy their physical appetites for food and promiscuous sex. God held Eli responsible for dishonoring Him. Judgment was about to come upon him, his sons, and his posterity. He showed more fear of his sons than he did of God.
Jesus warned His disciples about the right and wrong kinds of fear. You should not fear anyone whose greatest power is to kill your body, He told them. You should fear the One who has authority to send you to hell. God deserves to be feared above all others. Yet He is the One who watches over sparrows. He is the One who numbers the hairs of your head. You are of much greater value than a sparrow.
Think about it
What are you afraid of? Do you fear being forgotten? Overlooked? Having a meaningless existence then dying in obscurity? If you are God’s child, He will not forget or overlook you. Are you afraid of being caught, tortured, and executed for your faith? Fear not. God has power over your eternal destiny. All your enemy can do is kill you and inadvertently send you into the bosom of Abraham.
Fear God, but also trust God if you know Him.