The Fear Of The LORD
The Fear Of The Lord
It is often pointed out that "fear" is used in the Bible of both fear and of respect. Such do not have to be mutually exclusive and in fact they are NOT. While there is the wrath of God against sin there is also mercy and forgiveness. It is the combination of these that produce reverent fear. As the Hebrew writer wrote concerning Noah: "By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household…" (Heb. 11:7).
Yet I believe we tend to water this down to the point of becoming brazen in our dealing with God. When God displays His wrath against sin it is fearful. The book of Proverbs thus includes many verses teaching God's people to fear the Lord. "My son, fear the Lord and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise" (24:21). "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (9:10). "The fear of the Lord prolongs life" (10:27). "In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence" (14:26). "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death" (14:27). Hence "blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity" (28:14).
In the time of Moses God had said: “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Deut. 5:29). When we come "the end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl. 12:13).
When we turn to the New Testament we also find God teaching us about such godly fear. We are told that "if we go on sinning willfully there remains a fearful expectation of judgment" (Heb. 10:27). This is followed with the observation that " it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). Hence Peter stated simply: "… Fear God" (1Pet. 2:17). Jesus – Jesus himself admonished: "Fear Him that is able to cast both body and soul into Gehennah" (Matt. 10:28).
It bears repeating: "the end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl. 12:13).