What does it mean to fear God ? Today’s reading gives us an important insight.
Twice in Leviticus 25, in verses 17 & 43 the children of Israel were told to fear God. In between these two admonitions in verse 38, God reminded them who He was and what He was like through what He had done for them, in bringing them out of Egypt to give them the land of Canaan. He did not want them oppressed or living in rigor, but living free.
In both places where God told His people to fear Him He related it to how they treated each other. They were not to oppress each other ( verse 17) and not rule over each other with rigor ( verse 43).
Fearing God is not just about how we view or relate to God. Clearly it also has to do with how we view and relate to each other and means treating each other the way He treats us. Doing for each other what He’s done for us.
Like the children of Israel God is always in the business of bettering our situation and meeting our needs. So fearing God today means seeking to better the situation of others and meet their needs.
It not only has vertical implications but horizontal ones as well.
Fearing God expresses itself not only in how we treat God but also in how we treat our fellow man.