Sunday, May 18, 2014

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Fear of the Lord

          The "fear of the Lord" is a statement that is often a stumbling block to non believers.  Statements such as: "why should I be afraid of your God?",  "Why should we be afraid, if He is an all loving God.", Who is he that I should worry about him?" and  "OK, so what does He want from me?".

          "The word translated "fear" in many versions of the Bible comes from the Hebrew word yirah, which has a range of meaning in the scriptures.  Sometimes it refers to the fear we feel in anticipation of some danger or pain, but it can also mean "awe" or "reverence".  In this latter sense, yirah includes the idea of wonder, amazement, mystery, astonishment, gratitude, admiration, and even worship.  The "fear of the Lord" therefore includes an overwhelming sense of glory, worth and beauty of the One True God."  (

          We can see that if we are "in" the Lord, we see the fear of Him  as respect and reverence. If we are not "in" the Lord, we can expect to be on the side that doesn't receive unmerited blessings.  You can't expect His hedge of protection to protect you, if you climb over it.

          The following are some good examples in the Bible, but not nearly all, of the complexity of the meaning of the "fear of the Lord".

      Proverbs 1:7

            The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom     and instruction.

After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.

Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.

That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.

Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.

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,

That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever.

But the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.

And they smote all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the Lord came upon them:

And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.

Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.

And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.

And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:

Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,

The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom;

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.

Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

          As stated in Proverbs 1:7, the "fear of the Lord" is the beginning of knowledge.  When Solomon was asked by the Lord, what gift he wanted, he said wisdom.  When the Lord answered him, he indicated that wisdom and knowledge were intertwined.  We use the "fear of the Lord" to further our knowledge, through the study of His Word and the guidance of His Spirit.


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