Three Questions About the Fear of the Lord

30 Jul

The fear of God is an often misunderstood and under-emphasized idea. Ed Welch defines the fear of God as “reverent submission to God that leads to obedience.” Below are three questions about the fear of God with biblical answers from a recent Sunday School lesson at our church. I encourage you to look up some of the verses just to get a feel for context, but I think these passages are very helpful when considering the issue of the fear of God. I am reminded that at the end of Paul’s indictment of humanity in Romans chapters 1-3, one of the things he says in summing up the state of sinful humanity is that “they have no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18). So obviously, the fear of the Lord is very important if we are to be rightly related to God.

1.  Why should we fear God?

Ps. 2:11—It is at the heart of what it means to serve the Lord.
Ps. 27:1—The Lord is our salvation.
Ps. 76:7—No one can stand before God’s anger.
Ps. 76:12—He breaks the spirit of rulers.
Ps. 89:7—He is more awesome than all that surround Him.
Ps. 90:11—His wrath is equal to the fear He deserves.
Ps. 96:4—He is to be feared above all other gods (including people)
Ps. 111:10/Prov. 1:7—Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge
Ps. 115:11—He is a help and shield to those who fear Him.
Ps. 115:13—He will bless those who fear Him.
Ps. 118:4—His love endures forever.

We fear the Lord because He is intrinsically worthy of fear.  The summation of these verses is that God alone is worthy.  He alone can bear the weight of your soul’s need to worship.

2.  What does it look like to fear the Lord?  The fear the Bible speaks of works itself out in the lives of people.

Ps. 22:23—They give praise.
Ps. 66:16—They listen to truth.
Ps. 76:8—They are quiet.
Ps. 86:11—They are teachable and have an undivided heart.
Ps. 119:63—They follow His precepts.
Ps. 119:74—They hope in the Word.
Ps. 119:79—They understand His statutes.
Ps. 119:120—They stand in awe of God’s laws.
Ps. 128:1—They walk in His ways.
Prov. 1:29—Not demonstrated by those who hate knowledge (negatively)
Prov. 3:7—Not being wise in your own eyes (humility)
Prov. 8:13—Hatred of evil
Prov. 14:2—Their walk is upright.

3.  What are the results of the fear of God?
Ps. 23:4—Results in triumph over fear of evil
Ps. 25:14—The Lord confides in those who fear Him.
Ps. 27:3—Not fearing physical harm
Ps. 31:19—God’s goodness is poured out on those who fear Him.
Ps. 33:18—The Lord’s eyes are on those who fear Him.
Ps. 34:4—Deliverance from lesser fears
Ps. 34:9—Lacking nothing
Ps. 40:3—Living in the fear of the Lord will cause others to do likewise.
Ps. 60:4—Protection
Ps. 85:9—Salvation
Ps. 103:13—His Fatherly compassion is upon those who fear Him
Ps. 103:17—His love is everlasting to those who fear Him.
Ps. 111:15—He provides for those who fear Him.
Ps. 130:4—There is forgiveness to those who fear Him
Ps. 145:19—Desires are fulfilled for those who fear Him.
Ps. 147:11—The Lord delights in those who fear Him.
Prov. 10:27—Adds length of life
Prov. 15:33—Fear of the Lord teaches man wisdom.
Prov. 16:6—A man avoids evil
Prov. 22:4—Results in wealth and honor and life

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