The Fear of the Lord

Fear of the Lord

Proverbs has much to say about the fear of the Lord.  Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…”  What exactly does that mean?  Does it mean we tremble with fear every time God’s name is mentioned?  The dictionary definition of fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” 

Does God want us feel that he is dangerous, a threat or likely to cause us pain?  I don’t think so.  Although some who don’t really know God could interpret it that way.  Some live in a constant state of anxiety thinking if they displease God, He will open the trap door to hell. That’s just not true!  However, God does want us to realize He is all powerful!  When we know or recognize God as our Creator and our Master, we have reverence and awe for who He is, what He’s done, and what He can do. 

If we think of God as a loving Father we can relate because there is a certain kind of fear or respect that a child has for a parent.  Children realize parents have power over them.  However, if the parents love them and use their power wisely, children know they are loved.  There will be consequences for wrong behavior, but children know the motive will be love and what is best for them.  Then the children want to please their parents not out of anxiety, but out of love. 

The same applies with fearing God.  If we have a deep reverence for God and His love for us, we want to please Him – not because we feel frightened if we don’t, but because we know it reaps the right result. 

If we are aware of God’s awesome presence in our lives we will fear Him in the right way.  We will not be frightened of Him.  We will acknowledge His holiness, embrace Him and reverence Him in our lives.  We will want to honor him in everything we do.  He will be our priority and come first in our lives.

There are blessings from fearing God and giving Him His rightful place in our lives.  It brings…

  • Knowledge (Proverbs 1:7)
  • Humility (Proverbs 3:7)
  • Wisdom (Proverbs 9:10)
  • Recognition of evil (Proverbs 8:13)
  • Departure from evil (Proverbs 16:6)
  • Satisfaction (Proverbs 9:23)
  • Prolonged life (Proverbs 10:27)
  • Confidence (Proverbs 14:26)
  • Spiritual insight (Proverbs 14:27)
  • Contentment (Proverbs 15:16)
  • Great blessings (Proverbs 22:4)

Oswald Chambers had an interesting thought on the fear of God.  He said, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that, when you fear God, you fear nothing else; whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”   

Proverbs 1:7 tells us that the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.  It goes on to say, “…but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  The choice is simple.  Fear God and gain blessings.  It would be foolish to do otherwise.    

  Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge...  


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