Fear of God / Image of God

What’s the relationship between these core concepts?

We are to fear God because God is God. Whatever it is, there is something about God that commands reverence and obedience.

But in fearing God are we in the image of God? Or is it somehow reversed, such that we are first made in the image of God and then, in this context, must fear God?

And what about fear of humankind? If we are in the image of God are we not to be feared in our own right? I think so. If we are to fear God because God is God then surely we are to be feared as humankind because we are in God’s image.

But again, what makes God God or us in God’s image? Do we inherently command reverence and obedience? Or does our reverence and obedience make us, as humankind, revered and deserving to rule?

fear of God - same as fear of fire or fear of avalanche. If you are not careful, you can get hurt. If you don’t get out of the way, you will get squished. Don’t go against God’s power because you can’t win.

made in God’s image - able to think, reason and decide. Able to understand God’s creation in some significant, if limited, way.

So is there a relationship?

With your thinking God is to be feared because of power. But if humankind is to image God shouldn’t it be through power then also, and that in doing so humankind is also to be feared? Just as God is?

I don’t see why to image God means to be ‘able to think’ with your thinking. I would see it more as being powerful (like God) and therefore revered.

This would also serve to create a relationship between fear of God and being God’s image. Or at least, these terms would make sense together, a sense we can see when we consider that God tells Noah that all creation will fear him and be subdued, just as in Genesis 1 it was that as God’s image we would subdue creation (it is as if in imaging God we are to be feared, just as God is to be feared for being God).

I like this model but I question whether it is power that is the defining characteristic. I would prefer your ‘thinking, reasoning, deciding’ possibility instead. Or that it is in God’s wisdom (and therefore power) that God is to be revered (and so also are we, when we image God).

(The question is: is fearing God enough for us to image God and to be feared in our own right? Or at least, that is my question.)

Thinking is what makes humans powerful. That’s why humans dominate the other animals which are stronger, bigger, faster.
And yes, mankind is also to be feared because of this thinking power.
I think that the ability to think is the only thing that man and God have in common.

Whether or not God exists, we all make God in our own image, and theists then believe in that image as corresponding to some external reality, more or less. For fundamentalists it’s more, for others it’s less. The God of fundamentalists is like Frankenstein’s monster, who Shelley aptly called “Adam”. The fundamentalist somehow conflates himself with God, while at the same time turning God into a mere collection of words.

So humankind makes God in its image, and in doing so says that God made humankind in God’s image? Then humankind fears this creation because it somehow forgets that it is all an imagination thinking that it in fact has reality?

Seems not to give much credit to the writers. Why wouldn’t they say it as it is, simply that human beings are the ones to be feared?

You could try this experiment if you want - describe to me what “God” is, that I should fear “him”. Then tell me how much of your description is what God really is, and how much is human invention.

Let me be clear about my position. Fear of God is not enough. It is the beginning. What is also required is fear of humankind. With such a position it doesn’t really matter how much our description of God is human invention. Humans are made and called to image God, which means they should be able to do something even better than describe or “invent” God.