THE FEAR OF THE LORD
SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
1. How do we acquire the fear of the Lord?
2. How can we learn to fear Him more, and fear Him in the proper sense?
3. How can we teach the fear of the Lord to children? To adults?
DEFINITION: Most agree that it is a reverential fear - reverence - awe.
The fear for life or pain is not involved generally. It is holding God
with much respect. Jeremiah put it this way, "Forasmuch as there is none
like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? For to thee doth it appertain,
forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms,
there is none like unto thee." Jer. 10:6,7
God is to be loved. Our earthly fathers were to be feared when we were
in error, however when there was no error we respected them highly and
enjoyed their love.
Natural man has no fear of the Lord. You can see this in many ways in
our society, the television and the screen for example. They don't care
what they show or say about God. Indeed, they teach explicitly against
the things of the Lord.
The printed page also pictures man's lack of fear for God - the way
they treat the Lord's people - their rejection of God and His Word.
Many believers do not fear the Lord. You can see this in our society
- the empty churches - especially on prayer meeting nights. In the lack
of commitment to giving as they ought. In the needs of the missionaries.
In the life style that many Christians live.
1. Believers are to fear the Lord.
a. Lev. 19:14, "Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block
before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the Lord." Can you imagine
the lowness of a person that would trip a blind person?
b. Deut. 8:6, "Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord
thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him." They should fear the Lord
in relation to the judgment that they face before Him. II Cor. 5:10-11
2. The fear of the Lord is a very necessary part of our mental maturing
process if we are to be men and women of God.
Prov. 9:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the
knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." This is reiterated in Ps.
111:10 also. Notice that if we fear the Lord we are only BEGINNING in wisdom!
3. What is the fear of the Lord? Prov. 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is
the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Notice that if we fear the Lord we are only BEGINNING in knowledge.
We just saw that the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom and
now we see that it is the beginning of knowledge. It would seem appropriate
for the student to begin to fear the Lord. The obvious truth that comes
forth is that if you don't fear the Lord, then you are neither wise nor
knowledgeable! Is that something that you want to admit to?
Prov. 1:29 mentions that we may choose not to fear the Lord, and hate
knowledge - indeed it seems that if you hate knowledge you may opt for
not fearing the Lord. "Because they hated knowledge, and did not choose
the fear of the Lord."
Prov. 2:1-6 "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments
with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine
heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest
up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest
for 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. For
the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
Here are some items to notice in relation to understanding the fear
of the Lord.
Vs. 1 Receive the words of the writer. Hide his commandments with yourself.
Vs. 2 Listen to wisdom. Apply understanding to your heart.
Vs. 3 Cry after knowledge. Lift up your voice for understanding. (Ask
for it I would assume.)
Vs. 4 Seek after wisdom as you would seek silver. Most today are totally
into seeking gain - we should seek wisdom with such fervor! Seek after
wisdom as if you were looking for hidden treasure. Have you ever watched
one of those treasure search shows where they have gone looking for the
lost treasure on a sunken ship in the far reaches of the world? They spend
literally thousands of dollars searching for this treasure.
I saw a special concerning a supposed treasure buried in this country.
There are several people that think they know where it is buried. They
are digging deep holes in people's lawns and pastures trying to locate
this treasure. They think that the next hole is the place! Their entire
being is taken up with this search.
God tells us to search for wisdom in this same manner. WOW! The neat
part is that in verse six it says that God is the source of that wisdom
and HE GIVES IT!
Vs. 5 THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE FEAR OF THE LORD, and find the knowledge
Vs. 6 "FOR THE LORD GIVETH WISDOM; OUT OF HIS MOUTH COMETH KNOWLEDGE
It seems quite evident that to fear the Lord is a very wise thing to
SIDE BENEFITS TO THE FEAR OF THE LORD
1. We should hate evil. Prov. 8:13 "The fear of the Lord is to hate
evil; pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the perverse mouth, do
I made a comment in my college Genesis class once concerning the Homosexual
community of San Francisco, CA. One of the students reacted in total disgust.
His remedy was not acceptable, for he wanted to drop a bomb on the city,
but his disgust for the sin was RIGHT ON!
Ps 15:4 tells us to see vile as vile and not as acceptable! HATE EVIL
not watch it on TV. HATE EVIL not participate in it. HATE EVIL not help
it along by condoning it. HATE EVIL not teach or preach in a manner that
would allow people to think it all right.
2. We can overcome evil in our lives by fearing the Lord. Prov. 16:6
"By mercy and truth iniquity is purged; and by the fear of the Lord men
depart from evil."
3. We can be kept from evil by fearing the Lord. Prov. 19:23 "...he
shall not be visited with evil."
4. We can have a satisfied life. Prov. 19:23 "The fear of the Lord tendeth
to life, and he who hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited
with evil." Prov. 14:27 "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to
depart from the snares of death."
5. The fear of the Lord is the cure for envying sinners. Prov. 23:17
"Let not thine heart envy sinners, but be thou in the fear of the Lord
all the day long." All the day long is quite a purposeful statement as
6. When linked with humility the promise is: Riches, honor, and life.
Prov. 22:4 "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor,
7. It should give rise to praise and glorifying of The Lord. Ps. 22:23,
"Ye who fear the Lord, praise him; all ye, the seed of Jacob, glorify him...."
8. We will be watched over by God if we fear Him. Ps. 33:18, "Behold,
the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear him...."
9 We will have no needs if we fear Him. Ps. 34:9, "Oh, fear the Lord,
ye his saints; for there is no lack to them that fear him."
10. We will be blessed if we fear Him. Ps. 115:13, "He will bless those
who fear the Lord, both small and great."
11. There is a lengthening of days for those that fear the Lord. Prov.
10:27, "The fear of the Lord prolongeth days, but the years of the wicked
shall be shortened."
12. The woman that fears the Lord will be praised. Prov. 31:30, "Favor
is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who feareth the Lord, she
shall be praised."
13. His mercy will be toward us. Ps. 103:11, "For as the heavens are
high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him."
There are cases where man should just plain out and out fear the Lord.
If the person is unsaved he should be in fear of his eternal soul. Lu.
12:4,5 "And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill
the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn
you whom ye shall fear: Fear him who, after he hath killed, hath power
to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."
THE BELIEVER CAN FEAR THE LORD OR -- FEAR MAN.
THE BELIEVER CAN FEAR THE LORD OR -- FEAR CIRCUMSTANCES.
THE BELIEVER CAN FEAR THE LORD OR -- FEAR THE DEVIL.
God is our light, salvation and strength according to Ps. 27:1, thus
why would we fear anything outside of Him?
The believer has due cause for concern if he is living in continued
sin. Heb. 12 mentions that the Lord will chasten if there is a need. This
chastening can and does at extreme times go unto death. Acts five mentions
the Ananias and Saphira sin unto death.
1. The fear of the Lord should bring us to fearlessness. The fear of
the Lord should bring us to righteousness. The fear of the Lord should
bring us to service. The fear of the Lord should bring us to a proper love
for Him. The fear of the Lord should bring us to God in every way that
He desires us to come to Him.
2. II Cor. 7:1 mentions, "Having, therefore, these promises, dearly
beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and
spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
And to the above we might well add Ps. 86:11, "Teach me thy way, O Lord;
I will walk in thy truth; unite my heart to fear thy name."
And one more from Deut. 10:12, "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord
thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his
ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart
and with all thy soul,"
I would like to mention a quote from A.W. Tozer's "THE KNOWLEDGE OF
THE HOLY"/pp 121-122. Take time to read it if you have the volume available
I trust that you will not stop with this study of God but continue to
"ACQUAINT THYSELF WITH THEY GOD."
This concludes our study of the Person of God. I trust that now that
you have the knowledge, that if you haven't already done so, you will get
to KNOW your God.