We will not get very far in our relationship with God unless we understand that He is to be feared. In The Chronicles of Narnia, an allegory by C. S. Lewis, the author has two girls, Susan and Lucy, getting ready to meet Aslan the lion, who represents Christ. Two talking animals, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, prepare the children for the encounter.

“Ooh,” said Susan, “I thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie,” said Mrs. Beaver. “And make no mistake, if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you!”

The psalmist understood this awesome wonder when he wrote, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good,” and then urged God’s saints to fear Him (Ps. 34:8-9). We need not cringe in terror, but we must live before Him with reverence and awe. Our holy God isn’t “safe,” but He is good.