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God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who was tempted in all points as are we yet he never failed to resist (Hebrews 4:15).

“Fear and trembling” is an idiom meaning reverence and obedience. This oriental expression was used of slaves. How appropriate for it to occur immediately following the example of Jesus Christ, our bondslave, the prime example of humility and obedience. “Fear and trembling” was a phrase used to describe a slave who worked out his wholeness in the household in which he served.

Ephesians 6:5:
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Fear is used frequently in the Bible in the positive sense of reverence. We are encouraged throughout the Bible to fear God. That doesn’t mean fear in the sense of dread or terror, but fear in the sense of reverence and respect. One is positive, and one is negative. One Satan initiates, and the other God inspires. In a culture that embraced slavery this was well understood. When a slave ceased to be reverent, he had great cause to fear. When he ceased to be obedient, he had great cause to tremble.

According to eastern customs a slave or servant would stand inconspicuously watching his master with reverence and respect. He would look for even the slightest hand or eye gesture that would indicate what his master wanted. Because of the relationship he had developed over time, the servant would know exactly what to do when he saw them. He would never remove his eyes from his master lest he would miss a signal. He knew exactly what each signal meant, and he would obediently carry it out. “Fear and trembling” is an idiom that means reverence and obedience. It is used to describe the stayed mind necessary to wait on the Lord and carry out His desires.

Psalms 123:2:
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

Waiting on the Lord guards against selfish and prideful desires popping up out of strife and vainglory. Servants should not pursue their own will or agenda, but rather desire to carry out that of their master. The use of the idiom fear and trembling communicates the necessity of waiting on the Lord and attending to His direction. If we are faithful to follow His lead, we will work out our salvation. We see this clearly in the next verse. Why do we exercise reverence and obedience in waiting on direction from the Lord?

Philippians 2:13:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure [according to what pleases him].

“For” is the Greek word gar a contraction of ge, (verily) and ara, (therefore, further) meaning “the fact is” or “in fact.” Thayer says it is a particle of affirmation and conclusion. It has a more extensive meaning than the English word “for,” expressing the reason, cause, motive, or principle of what has been previously said. It could be translated “truly therefore…” or “indeed….” We pay attention and focus on God because He works in us to accomplish His good pleasure.
Just as “fear” and “trembling” refer to an internal mental attitude and an external physical manifestation (verse 12), so do “will” and “do” (verse 13). Just as we respond to our Master with reverence (manifested by staying our eyes upon Him) and obedience (manifested in doing what He directs), His working in us takes both knowing and action. He communicates His will through the revelation, knowing, or instructional manifestations, and accomplishes the doing through the impartation, power, or action manifestations.