Strange expression, I find. "God fearing"; "Fear God". It's an expression which seems prevalent in the Torah (Old Testament), as well as in the Quran. I've also read it in the Granth Sahib of the Sikhs.
I don't like using the word "God" myself, because there are so many differing and different associations with that word. I prefer the "Creative Power" or "The infinite Power". However, in this particular article I'm going to use the word "God", as used by most religions I am aware of or which I've researched.
To me, it makes no sense to fear God. Looking for definitions, on christianity.com it says:
The Bible speaks of two types of fear. The first type of fear is beneficial, while the second is detrimental and is to be overcome. Every Christian is to fear the Lord, which doesn’t mean to be afraid of the Lord, but as we’ve seen already to be in awe of God’s glory and power. Such fear also has a proper respect for the anger and wrath of God. The fear of the Lord is an acknowledgment of the revealed character of God, which comes through knowing the Lord and His attributes.......
..... The second type of fear is the spirit of fear spoken of in 2 Timothy 1:7. A spirit of fearfulness and timidity does not come from God. Sometimes we are fearful, and this fear overcomes people. The way to resolve such fear is to love the Lord and trust Him."
It's the bit about anger and wrath of God that bothers me. The God that is spoken about can apparently only get people to behave according to His rules, with threats and dealing out nasty events. What a small God that is!
One one hand, God is described as the Creator of the Universe, the Giver of Life and on the other a sort of fearful and vengeful Being who dreams up nasty ways of punishing recalcitrant Humans. I find that contradictory. Then there's the God of Love. If the Creator created us and gave us the gift of life, then that to me, is the ultimate act of love that I can imagine. Add to that the amazing world (see David Attenborough Documentaries) we can experience that life. That is really unending love to me. And this same creator is this spiteful, vengeful God? It doesn't make sense on any level.
No, this God we are told to fear, is not that ultimate Creator. It is an invention which allows specific groups of people to force others into specific behaviours that enable that small group to have power over others, claiming some special understanding. There is nothing to fear, except other people who follow a marginally different power group. Hell is not after life, it's here and now and a direct consequence of our own decisions along the path. All the great teachers point out the same thing: it's how you live that makes the difference. From that viewpoint, the only thing to fear is yourself!