“Your wickedness will punish you;
Your backsliding will rebuke you.
Consider then and realize
how evil and bitter it is for you
when you forsake the LORD your God
and have no awe of me,”
declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty
What does it mean to “have no awe of” God?
Awe invokes thoughts of: respect and honor, surprise and wonder, power and majesty.
To lose our awe of God means that we no longer respect and honor him. God simply becomes a thing that we tell people we believe in. But we pay no attention to him, except for possibly Sunday mornings. There is no craving for his advice and guidance. He is part of our lives, but in an unimportant way.
To lose our awe of God means that we are no longer surprised by him. We are never caught in a place of absolute wonder. Everything about God becomes predictable. We know exactly how he would respond in all situations. All mystery of God is removed.
To lose our awe of God means that we have no sense of his power and majesty. God is treated like a kindly old grandfather. Someone who is sweet but powerless. We pray to him not because he is awesome and mighty. We pray because we should, and it will make God feel so good. Who cares what he thinks about how we live, after all what can he actually do? Everything in life is filtered through what can we do, not what can God do.
It is “evil and bitter” for us when we “have no awe of” God.