The Proper Object of our Fear
John Telgren


Who is Satan? Where did the Devil come from? Would you like to know more about him? Some are terrified of Satan, his demons, and all the evil that comes from him. I have seen tracts, articles, and books written on the subject. I have heard sermons about him.

I don't recall any scripture that commands us to fear Satan. In fact, the closest scripture I can think of says this:

"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in {your} faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen {and} establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen" (1 Pet 5:8-11).

It does not say to fear the Devil. Instead, it says to be on the alert. It also says that God will protect and confirm us. God is the one with dominion, not Satan. In spite of this, many ignorantly fear Satan, but have no fear of God. There is no blessing in fearing Satan, but there is great blessing in fearing God. Here is a sampling of passages that affirm this:

"The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want" (Ps 34:7-9).

"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on {his} children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust (Ps 103:11-14).

"Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. For he will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever" (Ps 112:1-5).

We are to honor, fear, and give reverence to God. We don't run from him in terror, but we do recognize his greatness, power, and holiness. God blesses us when we fear him. The bible tells us, "Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king" (1 Pet 2:17).