I think it’s very interesting that in Hebrew the word “to fear” and “to worship/revere” are the same word.
In Hebrew, the word is ירא (yarē). Since Hebrew is most likely a constructed Semitic language, this is very likely an intentional mixture of meanings.
I think it’s very true to the human condition. What you are afraid of controls your life.
For children, it might be fear of the dark.
Or if people are afraid of getting sick, they will alter their lives. They won’t go outside, they’ll wear masks.
If you fear someone, you’ll do as they say.
In many situations, fear is what keeps us alive. Fear is what keeps paratroopers from getting sloppy, for instance. When you’re not afraid of death, that is when things go wrong, when accidents occur.
But in terms of powers and the narratives which run our lives, there is only one person we should actually fear.
It isn’t a government, or a sickness.
But the God found in Scripture. This is why Proverbs and the Psalms, Job and the Magnificat of Mary hold up fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom.
It’s pointless to be afraid of a government or a disease. Sure, there are plenty of things in this life that can kill you.
But only the Lord can judge you.
And He doesn’t pick sides. He is the only impartial judge there is.
And that is terrifying, from a human perspective. Because unlike human judges, He can’t be bribed.
If we fear the Lord, we’ll do as he commands us, then at least there is hope. And if we fear the Lord, so many other fears fade away.
Suddenly the powers of this world don’t seem quite so scary as they might be. So act with courage!
Think about what you fear in life. Who told you to be afraid? That thing, and the one who told you to be afraid, they control your life. They’re in your head, controlling your actions.
So don’t be afraid.