The Fear of the Lord

The Scriptures speak of the fear of the Lord, but perhaps not in the way you may be thinking.  To begin, let me give three dictionary definitions of fear:

1.  Feeling of anxiety–an unpleasant feeling of apprehension caused by the presence or anticipation of danger.

2.  Frightening thought–an idea, thought or other entity that causes feelings of fear.

3.  Reverence–respect or awe for somebody or something.

Sadly, many unbelievers and even many Christians fear God according to definitions 1 and 2.  These definitions, however, do not describe the fear of the Lord as mentioned in the Bible.  Simply put, a healthy fear of the Lord involves a respect or awe of His Person and presence.  He is an awesome God who is worthy of our highest admiration and praise.  We need not be afraid or scared of the Lord, but we should honor and reverence His Name.

Several verses in the Bible mention the fear of the Lord, but none more poignantly than in the Proverbs.  Let me list a few:

1:7 —  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

2:1-5– “My son, if you receive my words, and hide my commandments with you: so that you incline your ear unto wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasure; then youwill understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

3:7–“Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord.”

8:13–“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil…”

9:16–“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…”

As you have read, the fear of the Lord is a positive thing–so necessary, and its benefits are wonderful!  Generally speaking, scriptural teaching on the fear of the Lord produces believers who seek after godly knowledge, understanding and wisdom.  Mostly, those who fear the Lord will want to live above the pull of sin, the flesh and the devil.  They will weep over those things that cause God to weep, and rejoice over the things that gladden the heart of God!

I encourage you today to walk in a healthy fear of the Lord.  The benefits of a healthy fear are positive and life-changing!



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