The Fear Of The Lord

 

What is the fear of the Lord?

 

Job 28:28 And to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 8:13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, the way of evil and perverse speech.
Proverbs 16:6 By lovingkindness and truth sin is atoned for; by the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

What happens when I fear the Lord?

Proverbs 14:26 He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.
Psalm 25:13-14 His soul liveth in goodness, and his seed shall inherit the earth. The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.
Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those waiting for His lovingkindness.
Psalm 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13 Just as a father has mercy on his children, so the Lord has mercy on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:17 But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from eternity to eternity with those who fear Him, and his righteousness with their children's children
Psalm 128:1-6 {A song of ascents.} Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life, and may you live to see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel.
Psalm 145:19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; and He hears their cry and saves them.
Psalm 147:11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness.

We are commanded to fear God.

 

Psalm 34:10 Fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.
Matthew 10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Luke 12:4-5 I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to cast you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul; to keep the Lord's commandments and statutes that I am commanding you today for your own good.
Revelation 14:7 With great voice he said, Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has now come; so bow ye before Him and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and the springs of water.

Isn't it the very essence of man's total depravity in every age, according to the Apostle Paul, that "there is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:18, Psalm 36)? The repentant criminal asked the other criminal in amazement at Calvary: "Don't you fear God?" (Luke 23:40). When our Lord wanted to indicate the character of the unjust judge in a parable, He did so by saying that he "neither feared God nor cared about men" (Luke 18:2).

God's people, on the other hand, are described in the New Testament as those who are "walking in the fear of the Lord" (Acts 9:31). The risen and ascended Christ has poured out His Spirit upon His church, and, as we have seen from Isaiah's prophecy, the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. The fear of God is the heart of godliness... If we are thinking of the [marks] of biblical piety, none is more characteristic than the fear of the Lord.

The mother of our Lord praised God that "His mercy extends to those who fear Him" (Luke 1:50). The apostle Paul called upon Christians to "make holiness perfect in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1), to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12), and to "be subject to one another in the fear of Christ" (Ephesians 5:21). The apostle Peter urged them to "love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king" (1 Peter 2:17), and to "live your lives as strangers here in reverant fear" (1 Peter 1:17).

In the song of Moses and of the Lamb, we hear, "Who shall not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy" (Revelation 15:4).

It seems that having no fear of God is the root sin of the church today, the root cause of its moral flabbiness and ineffective witness! Although it is certainly too strong to say that there is no fear of God, it does seem that there is too often very little fear of God.

Let us pray that the Spirit of Christ will make us a God-fearing people. Then, fearing God, we shall have no one or nothing else to fear.

As we read in Isaiah 8:11-13, The Lord spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people; and He said: "Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; and do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, and He is the one you are to fear, and He is the one you are to dread, and He shall be your sanctuary."

We must not ignore the element of fear the Bible commands us to have. To test the patience of our holy God, to willfully disobey His will, should be a fearful and hateful thing to us, because "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). We have seen that it is the very essence of manís depravity that "there is no fear of God before their eyes."

1 John 4:17-18 however says "In this way love is perfected among us, that we may have confidence on the day of judgment, for as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

But it is clear that only those who are perfected in love will have confidence in love on Judgement Day. For perfect love drives out all fear of divine wrath. So, for those who are in Christ and like Christ, the fear of the Lord does not involve terror or dread of divine justice.