What does it mean to fear the Lord

Ohioan

Well-Known Member
https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-does-it-mean-to-fear-the-lord/


What Does It Mean To Fear The Lord?
by Jack Wellman · Print · Email






What does it mean to fear God or fear the Lord? What type of fear is it speaking about?
Human Fear
A little fear is a good thing because that makes us cautious when climbing ladders, using power tools, or driving a car. Fear is what keeps us alive and as long as it isn’t immobilizing, it’s not a problem. There are fears that can grow out of proportion, and tend to lead to a fear of heights, fear of water, and so on, but that’s not what I am referring too. Fear keeps us from hurting ourselves, at least in most cases. It makes us pay attention around a hot stove top, it makes us hesitate if we see brake lights ahead of us, and it might make us run if a neighborhood dog starts chasing us, so not all fear is bad. Fear of paying a speeding ticket makes people slow down (at least some!). Fear of law enforcement keeps robberies from happening more. Handing a gun with respect means we fear what it can do, and whatever we have that might cost us a lot, we tend to take care of it. We fear leaving our car out at night because someone might break into it. We lock our doors at night to keep the thieves out from stealing our possessions, so fear is productive and protective, but it also brings wisdom, and speaking for myself, I am always in need of that.
There is no wisdom without a fear of God. That fear is a holy, reverential fear and respect for God and His Word.
The Beginning


When we are younger, we seem to have no or at least, little fear of heights, but when we get older, we fear that more because an elderly person can get hurt and may never recuperate. Many such end up in nursing homes, so fear is good, but why does it say we should fear God? There is no wisdom without a fear of God. That fear is a holy, reverential fear and respect for God and His Word. To fear God and His Word is where true wisdom begins, and it’s not the earthly wisdom that mankind offers, but wisdom that comes from above (James 3:17). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov 1:7), so there can be no godly wisdom without a godly fear of God. That’s why this world is so lost. As it was in Paul’s day, so it is today, that “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3:18), and without that fear of God, there is no wisdom of God. You don’t need me to tell you that the world needs to wise up and fear God like they did less than a century ago. Not only is it wise, “The fear of the Lord prolongs life” (Prov 10:27a). So what does this fear look like? Solomon says, “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord” (Prov 14:2a), but also “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge” (Prov 14:26). Are you beginning to see the wisdom of fearing God? It might prolong your life, it might provide you protection, and “fear of the Lord is a fountain of life”(Prov 14:27a). As you can see, there’s a lot of wisdom in fearing God.

What Godly Fear Looks Like
I touched on some of what godly fear looks like and that includes walking uprightly before God, which means keeping His Word, obeying His commands, and living a life that is pleasing to Him. Godly fear is obedience, not a fear of God striking someone dead because they disobeyed. That’s not the fear of the Lord the Bible teaches us about. Fearing God is obeying God, living for God, and witnessing for God. When you obey God and His Word, you are already wise, not just beginning to be. Wisdom is obedience to God’s Word and His Law. Walking in the good works that God has planned for us to do is also fearing God (Eph 2:10), because we know we are to do good to others. Jesus sees that as doing it unto Him (Matt 25:40). Fear seems to be closely associated with obedience, which to me explains the state of this world, because it is only by “the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil” (Prov 16:6). It is obvious the world in general does not fear God, so they don’t turn away from evil; in fact, they choose the evil over the good, so when the world does not obey God, the world cannot acquire godly wisdom. The result (or consequence); there is little or no godly wisdom. That hurts!


Getting Wisdom
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him,” so first of all ask God, but if there’s no obedience in the person’s life, then that shows they don’t really fear God, and when they don’t really fear God, they cannot have the wisdom of God because “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17). Here’s the worldly fruit or their version of wisdom, which is the exact opposite of what James describes; not pure but polluted; not peaceable but violent; not gentle but rough; not open to reason but close-minded; not full of mercy but merciless; not good fruit but wax fruit; and not impartial but prejudiced and insincere. Whatever wisdom we are talking about, if it’s not from God, it’s from the enemy. Solomon’s advice to us is to, “fear the Lord and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise” (Prov 24:21). The fear of man is a stumbling block (Prov 29:25), but the fear of God is life because it imparts godly wisdom.
Conclusion
Even in the New Testament the fear of God is taught, and that’s because we all need the wisdom that’s from above, but it’s difficult to receive until we walk in obedience. I remember hearing one man say when God gives us light, and we walk in that light (obey), God will give us more light. By light, I think the man meant godly wisdom or clarity about something in the Bible. Maybe it’s something we found that we hadn’t seen in the Bible before, but I believe if we don’t walk in that light which God has already given us, then there’s little reason to expect more light, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1st John 1:7). It’s much easier to fear God when you’re walking in the light than it is walking in darkness.

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Lovin Jesus

Well-Known Member
The way I understand the kind of fear we should have for the Lord is not a fear as in being afraid of Him. I think the godly fear we should have is of respect and honor while acknowledging His Almightiness and Divine power and knowing there is no one like Him, He is above all. He is Creator of all things. He is the giver of life and He can take it away ( Job 1:21 )
 

DanLMP

Well-Known Member
The way I understand the kind of fear we should have for the Lord is not a fear as in being afraid of Him. I think the godly fear we should have is of respect and honor while acknowledging His Almightiness and Divine power and knowing there is no one like Him, He is above all. He is Creator of all things. He is the giver of life and He can take it away ( Job 1:21 )
And that God, is on your side. That should put you in awe or reverence (fear).

That God who is all and made all WANTS A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU!
 

Blue Sky

Active Member
I actually just did a study on this as I went through Proverbs a few weeks ago. <goes to grab Bible>

1. By my count (which could certainly be incorrect), the phrase "the fear of the Lord" or some such variant is used 16x throughout the book of Proverbs (using the KJV).

2. When it comes to the fear of the Lord, I would imagine that most people think of Prov. 1:7 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. This is the first mention of the phrase (see point #1).

3. The phrase is also mentioned in the following places - 1:29, 2:5, 3:7, (occurrence 2-4)

4. It is again mentioned in 8:13 (occurrence #5) and here the Bible gives an explicit definition of the phrase. - The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

5. Furthermore, it's interesting to read some of the phrase's other occurrences in the book of Proverbs in light of the definition given in 8:13. For example:

Proverbs 3:7 - Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with a departing from evil (c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 9:10 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with a knowledge of the holy (holy = separate from sin; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 10:27 - The fear of the Lord prolonged days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with life by contrasting it with the wicked (therefore, those who have it do not have their association with the wicked; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 14:2 - He that walkers in his uprightness feareth the Lord: but he that is perverse in his ways despise him.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with righteousness by contrasting it with the perverse (therefore, those who have it do not have their association with the perverse; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 19:23 - The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with life by saying he shall not be visited with evil (implies that evil has not yet come; therefore, separate from it; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 23:17 - Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Clarifies what it isn't through a negative conjunction (therefore, it does not involve envy or sinners; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Summary: According to Proverbs 8:13, the fear of the Lord is explicitly defined as hating evil. This is the starting point for wisdom and instruction according to Proverbs 1:7 (the more well known passage involving the fear of the Lord). Therefore, we can conclude that the turning point in a person's life is the moment they realize good and evil are real, objective things, and they purposefully choose to walk away from evil. Of course, since God alone is good (Mark 10:18), it necessarily follows that a person must choose to walk away from evil in favor of walking towards God. This then makes sense why "hating evil" would be equated with "the fear of the Lord."

God bless!
 

Jonathan

Well-Known Member
This may have already been mentioned, so if so forgive me.

But the best explanation I heard about what it means to "Fear to Lord:"

Two house wives are talking and the subject of cooking for their husbands comes up. One of them confides in the other that when she cooks for her husband, she is SO AFRAID (Fearful) that she will screw it up. She is fearful her husband might not like the meal.

The other housewife says, "Oh my! What would he do. Does he hit you? Abuse you!?"

The first housewife says "OH NO.... NOTHING like that. He is a kind and gentle man. He's never laid a hand on me. I just love him and want to please him and I am scared I might let him down. "
 

Ohioan

Well-Known Member
I actually just did a study on this as I went through Proverbs a few weeks ago. <goes to grab Bible>

1. By my count (which could certainly be incorrect), the phrase "the fear of the Lord" or some such variant is used 16x throughout the book of Proverbs (using the KJV).

2. When it comes to the fear of the Lord, I would imagine that most people think of Prov. 1:7 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. This is the first mention of the phrase (see point #1).

3. The phrase is also mentioned in the following places - 1:29, 2:5, 3:7, (occurrence 2-4)

4. It is again mentioned in 8:13 (occurrence #5) and here the Bible gives an explicit definition of the phrase. - The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

5. Furthermore, it's interesting to read some of the phrase's other occurrences in the book of Proverbs in light of the definition given in 8:13. For example:

Proverbs 3:7 - Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with a departing from evil (c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 9:10 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with a knowledge of the holy (holy = separate from sin; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 10:27 - The fear of the Lord prolonged days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with life by contrasting it with the wicked (therefore, those who have it do not have their association with the wicked; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 14:2 - He that walkers in his uprightness feareth the Lord: but he that is perverse in his ways despise him.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with righteousness by contrasting it with the perverse (therefore, those who have it do not have their association with the perverse; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 19:23 - The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Associates it with life by saying he shall not be visited with evil (implies that evil has not yet come; therefore, separate from it; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Proverbs 23:17 - Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
  • Mentions "the fear of the Lord".
  • Clarifies what it isn't through a negative conjunction (therefore, it does not involve envy or sinners; c.f. hate evil - 8:13)

Summary: According to Proverbs 8:13, the fear of the Lord is explicitly defined as hating evil. This is the starting point for wisdom and instruction according to Proverbs 1:7 (the more well known passage involving the fear of the Lord). Therefore, we can conclude that the turning point in a person's life is the moment they realize good and evil are real, objective things, and they purposefully choose to walk away from evil. Of course, since God alone is good (Mark 10:18), it necessarily follows that a person must choose to walk away from evil in favor of walking towards God. This then makes sense why "hating evil" would be equated with "the fear of the Lord."

God bless!
Ahh! repentance,

Chuckled at your, <goes to grab Bible>
 
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