Genesis 22:12 reads “And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” The angel of the Lord tells Abraham that he is now not only aware but also assured that Abraham was a God-fearing man. Why? Because Abraham did not withhold his own son, his only son from God.
Often the word fear of the Lord is downplayed as an “act or attitude of reverence and awe.” and while this is not entirely inaccurate, there is more to fearing God. To fear God is to love him. In other words, Abraham demonstrated that his love for God was greater than his love for his own son – his own flesh and blood. But you may be wondering, the Bible says that Abraham “feared” God and not “loved” God. So how do we get love from fear? I John 4:18 reads “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:” This establishes the fact that if we love God (perfectly i.e., more than anything else), we have nothing to fear for perfect love casts out fear. Additionally, the act of Abraham means that Abraham gave more importance to the spiritual relationship he had with God than the physical relationship he had with his son. The Scripture counsels that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10). This means that Abraham was a wise and understanding man.
Points to ponder:
Do you and I fear God? In other words, do you and I love God perfectly – more than anything or anyone else – even our own flesh and blood. If God was to give a testament of you and me, would he be able to say “for I know that you fear God?” i.e., “I am aware and assured that you love me more than anything else?”
Genesis 22:12 (KJV)
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
Proverbs 9:10 (KJV)
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
1 John 4:18 (KJV)
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.