Deuteronomy 10.20: You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear.
I remember watching a Ricky Gervais DVD once and as per usual he was giving the beliefs of Christianity a good kicking. I usually tend to switch off when this happens, not due to any sense of Christian self-righteousness or a desire to avoid blasphemy, but because these jokes are often either ill informed or down right ignorant.
This particular joke involved looking at some of Paul’s letters involving Love and how it contains no fear, and then comparing them with Old Testament references to God calling out to be feared. (the joke here being that us silly Christians believe in a contradiction, or that God can’t be loving because He demands we fear him or something like that…. told you it wasn’t funny).
What Gervais, and many other people, have failed to understand is that “fear” is a poor translation of the original Hebrew text.
Rather than a feeling of dread conjured up by a sense of danger or potential harm the fear God calls for is more accurately understood as awe or over whelming admiration at the might and wonder of God’s being.
It’s a similar feeling to that of a sub towards their Dominant.
Many of the best D/s relationships will involve the sub “fearing” their dominant, however due to the nature of D/s relationships being entered into consensually, fear here cannot possibly contain the meaning usually attributed to it.
Whilst it is true that a submissive may fear the punishment administered by their dominant those punishments are taken with consent. So the fear of harm is mixed with the masochistic desire of either receiving pain or the knowledge that they are pleasing their dominant. So the submissive does not fear punishment in the traditional sense, as they are not hoping to avoid harm but actively seeking it.
The fear of a submissive comes from the awe and total admiration they hold for their dominant. There is no need for the dominant to scare the submissive or to administer, or even threaten, pain, the sub will still “fear” the dominant. This fear drives the submissive to serve and wish to please the dominant. In fact, in many D/s relationships, it is not out of fear of punishment that the submissive obeys, but out of a desire to please the person they have become over awed with.
So to is it with believers and God. God does not administer pain or punishment to believers, rather God inspires unimaginable awe and admiration that then demands a response.
when faced with might, power and glory beyond all human imagination the only possible response must be fear. Though like the fear of a dominant, the fear of God is a fear of Love.