What Do We Know About The Fear Of The Lord?
The fear of the Lord is that understanding of God's greatness and power and man's accountability toward Him. A scriptural and saving knowledge of God is the greatest need of every person. An unknown God can neither be trusted, served, nor worshipped. Belief in God is the foundation principle of the Christian faith. The writer of the book of Hebrews said, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)
We know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. In Proverbs 1:7 the Bible says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." The fear of the Lord is that reverence we feel as we live daily in the presence of God. The fear of the Lord is the root of right living and wise conduct. The fear of the Lord influences our every action and our every thought.
We know that the fear of the Lord is a choice to be made. Solomon wrote of those who did not choose the fear of the Lord. "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord." (Proverbs 1:28-29) God welcomes sinners with open arms. However, many sinners have stopped their ears and hardened their hearts to God's word. God's plea falls upon deaf ears. The fear of God will cause you to choose good instead of evil.
We know that the fear of Lord leads to finding the knowledge of God. "If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:4-5) The fear of the Lord awakens feelings of gratitude and love. The fear of the Lord leads us to the Bible so that we might gain the knowledge of God.
We know that the fear of Lord causes us to depart from evil. God commanded, "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil." (Proverbs 3:7) He also said, "In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil." (Proverbs 16:6) No one who knows himself should be conceited. There is no experience more humbling than to come face to face with our own sins. One who thinks he knows everything will never come to fear God. Watch and pray constantly against the spirit of self-conceit.
We know that the fear of Lord causes us to hate sin. "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) Those who fear the Lord fear the punishment sin brings. This fear causes us to hate sin. God hates sin because of His very nature. To require us to hate sin is no more than God expects of Himself.
We know that the fear of Lord is the beginning of wisdom. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10) The same principle is also taught in Proverbs 15:33. "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." The fear of the Lord will cause us to know and carefully follow the will of God. The fear of the lord is at the root of true wisdom. The wise will understand the will of the Lord. Paul wrote, "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." (Ephesians 5:17)
We know that the fear of Lord leads to long life. "The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened." (Proverbs 10:27) Long life is promised to those who fear God. If you could take the average of life you would find it to be in the favor of the godly. The fear of the Lord leads to good habits that promote health.
We know that the fear of Lord provides a refuge for God's people. "In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death." (Proverbs 14:26-27) Godly fear leads to Godly consequences. Those who fear God have a place of refuge in trouble. Jesus is our refuge. He is always willing to hear and to answer.
We know that the fear of Lord makes a little be enough. "Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble." (Proverbs 15:16) A person may have great treasures; but if he does not have God he has troubles. Those who have God have what matters both in this life and in eternity. Truly, "better is little with the fear of the Lord."
We know that the fear of Lord produces a satisfied life. "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) A Godly life is a happy and satisfied life, here and hereafter. The fear of the Lord produces a true life. True life, genuine satisfaction and freedom from sin are all blessings of the fear of the Lord.
We know that the fear of Lord will cause us not to envy sinners. "Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day." (Proverbs 23:17) Sinners are not to be envied. They are to be pitied. What they have is all they will have, except misery. David wrote, "Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes." (Psalm 17:13-14) The sinners have their portion in this life. They have nothing to look forward to in the world to come. The consideration of the end of life will help us reconcile ourselves to all difficulties and discouragements of this life.
We know that the fear of Lord produces respectful citizens. "My son, fear the Lord and the king; do not associate with those given to change." (Proverbs 24:21) Those who are religious must be loyal to God and they must be good citizens in the land. If government ever comes in conflict with God, "We must obey God rather than men." Have nothing to do with those given to change just for the sake of change. Many want change because of discontent with what is, a desire for novelty and because they enjoy confusion. There will always be disturbers of the peace in government and in the church. Have nothing to do with them.
The fear of the Lord will cause you to obey the gospel quickly. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel and believe (John 6:44-45), repent of sins (Acts 2:38), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized into Christ. (Romans 6:3-4) The fear of the Lord will also keep you in faithful service to God. (Matthew 10:22) Solomon said, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA.