When looking at modern music, teaching and when we talk about God with Christians I have noticed that we focus premonitory on God's love and grace. In one way I am all for knowing the love and grace of God, but the fear of the Lord is something that I believe must be understood for us to be able to walk in the destiny God has made us for. (Ephesians 2:10)
When we look at the word fear from Jeremiah 8:13, it is important to understand what it means. In Strongs, the word fear is #4172 and comes from "morah". It means to have fear, reverence, terror, awe It is an object of fear, respect or reverence. It is derived from "yare" which means to be afraid of, to far, to reverence.
What Does The Old Testament AND New Testament Say?
There are some great verses in the Old and New Testament that define what the fear of the Lord is. Have a read and be encouraged to live a balanced life where you know God, learn to fear Him and as a result are blessed. Receive His love and grace but work to know Him and learn to fear Him!
How can we understand what fearing God means?
1.The fear of the Lord means we hate evil.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate. Proverbs 8:13
2. The fear of the Lord is satisfying.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27.
3. The fear of the Lord is sanctifying. We are cleaned forever when we fear the Lord.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Psalm 19:9
4. Wisdom starts with the fear of God:-
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
When we understand God and fear Him, we learn to understand:-
1.When we fear God we understand His majesty!
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You. Jeremiah 10:7
2. As we fear God we understand His holiness.
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.” Revelation 15:4
3. His Forgiveness is understood when we fear God.
4 But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared. Psalm 130:4
4. His Power is evident when we see who He is. This power can be directed to protect and guide us.
23 for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:23-24.
5. His Goodness is evident when we look back and see what He has done in our lives.
Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24
6. His Judgement is coming so fear Him and give Him glory. Worship God because He is one who judges us!
7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” Revelation 14:7
Some Other Verses:
In Job we read:
And to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’ Job 28:28.
In Ecclesiastes, we read:-
3 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. Ecclesiastes 12:13.
In Psalms we read:-
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. Psalm 33:8
In Proverbs we read:
The fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil. Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27
I find Isaiah 8 quite confronting as we find God saying He will be a sanctuary if we fear him but the consequences of not fearing Him are quite scary! If we do not fear God He will deal with us with a strong hand. This possibility shows us that He is to be feared and we should stand in awe of Him. If we do not fear God He will be a rock of offence and a stone of stumbling. Lack of fear will trap and snare us! This is quite a warning.
11 For the Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:
12 “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. 13 The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread. 14 He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken.” Isaiah 8:11-15
What are some examples of people from the Bible that feared God?
Noah was moved by godly fear to build the ark, preach to the world and save his family.
7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 1:7
Abraham feared God and did not even withhold his only son. This was an incredible sign that He feared God more than what he wanted in life.
And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Genesis 22:12
Joseph put his brothers in prison for three days when he came to collect grain BUT did not harm them because he feared God.
Then Joseph said to them the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear God: Genesis 42:18
King David was able to be successful as he learnt to fear God. Even when he sinned, the fear of God brought him back to Him.
But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You, I will worship toward Your holy temple. Psalm 5:7
Early Christians were able to grow when then walked in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Where To From Here?
As you get an understanding of the fear of God, you learn it does not repel you from HIm but is the catalyst to you drawing closer to Him. As you become wise through fearing Him, He leads you into a deep relationship with Him. Sin is no longer attractive and you are able to understand God's majesty, holiness, forgiveness, power, goodness and judgement. This guides you into living purposefully and in holiness. What Satan tries to tell you and lead you to do becomes no longer attractive and you instead long to be in God's presence, to worship Him, to acknowledge who He is and to live a life in relationship with Him. His judgement will come and when we understand this, we do not want to do anything that will cause God to condemn us. Eternity with God is something I am really looking forward to.
If we fear God, it will lead us to really be able to experience His love. The fear of God is really the beginning of wisdom, and therefore the key ingredient to a satisfying and fulfilling life.