But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive… Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God that He provided households for them. - Exodus 1:17, 20-21
We all know what it means to have fear. We struggle with the fear of failure, the fear of being alone, and the fear of rejection. These fears bring insecurity and slant our judgment. How can we differentiate between the fears of this life and the fear of the Lord? What is the difference? The term to “fear the Lord” means to “revere or to stand in awe of.” We tend to fear the things that we see and touch, not a God who is invisible. So, we pay more respect to the things of this world than to the Lord who is in control of all these things in the first place. We have choices that we make every day. Are we trying to please people or are we trying to please the Lord?
From Exodus, we see how the midwives are excellent examples of making the right choice. They were given a direct order from their king, the ruler of all Egypt. These women should have had “the fear of the king” because on earth he was the position of authority. He could command whatever he wanted and had the power to kill those who were disobedient. However, these women chose to “fear the Lord” even though they knew they could be killed. They saw something in the Hebrew people that indicated the existence of a higher authority than Pharaoh. They realized that the Hebrew God is the one true God, in control of life and death. They chose to fear and honor the Lord, even if it meant their own death.
Sometimes we think that by trying to please people, we are pleasing the Lord. As Christians, are we not suppose to lay down our rights and become servants to all? This is true only when we first lay down our rights to God. We can only begin to understand this concept as we learn what it means to fear the Lord. He has given us His word to teach us. You may be put in a difficult situation in your home, in your work, or at school. Maybe your husband, or boss or principal has made a decision that goes against your convictions. What are you going to do? Who are you going to live in fear of, man or God? The greatest thing about living in the fear of the Lord is that He will help you. It is not your responsibility to change their decisions but to express your convictions. By choosing to fear Him, He will lead you, guide you and love you through the fearful times. Depend on Him; fear Him. For when all of life is said and done, we all stand before God one day. And there is no doubt whose side we will choose then.