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What Does Fear Of The Lord Mean In The Bible

When A Man Fears The Lord He Is Filled With Deep Assurance

What Does It Mean To Fear The Lord?

Please refer to Proverbs 14:26 Ecclesiastes 8:12-13. One reason for the confidence that is gained by fearing the Lord is that the one who fears Him lives on very intimate and personal terms and in close fellowship with the Lord Himself . This makes him sure of Gods protection His provision and His purpose . When we fear the Lord we are led into a full assurance of faith we know that our sins are forgiven we know the truth of Romans 8:28 and we can say 2 Timothy 1:12!

Fearing God In The Old Testament

In the Old Testament, a clear connection is made between fearing God and keeping His commands and serving Him: And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. See also Deuteronomy 4:10 and Deuteronomy 6:2.

The Process Of Gaining Wisdom

Three points stand out in verse 10. The first, is of course, fear. We see God as a father who wants his children to learn, grow, and apply these truths to every aspect of their lives. Secondly, we find conviction. When we have been going down the wrong path, we place a wedge between ourselves and the Father. Conviction opens our eyes to our current situation. It is a chance to turn away and begin anew on the right path. Lastly, we see repentance. Repentance is the turning away from sin. If we have a healthy dread of the consequences, then we are more likely to repent. This is the beginning of true wisdom.

Believers should fear the consequences of the heavenly Father, therefore leading them to make wise decisions in day-to-day tasks as well as the big decisions of life. To enter onto the right path, we must forsake the wrong path. Without the fear of consequence, one cannot get to a right place with God.

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Fear With Love And Hope

Sherif A. Elfass, president, Northern Nevada Muslim Community

Allah says in the Quran: Fear Allah as He should be feared . However, this fear is not like fearing anything or anyone. It is fear combined with love and hope. Fearing God precludes us from committing sins to avert punishment, but only loving God makes us perform many acts of worship and kindness to draw us closer to Him.

Ibn Al Qayyim, a prominent Muslim scholar, said, The heart on its journey towards Allah, the Exalted, is like that of a bird. Love is its head, and fear and hope are its two wings. When the head is healthy, then the two wings will fly well. When the head is cut off, the bird will die. When either of two wings is damaged, the bird becomes vulnerable to every hunter and predator. Thus, without love, fear and hope, ones relationship with God would not be stable.

We Gain A Humble Confidence

What Does The Bible Mean When It Says Fear the LORD (YHWH)?

Finally, fearing God brings a humble confidence and overwhelming spiritual comfort. The NT directly links the fear of the Lord with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit . Those who do not fear God will have little or no sense of his presence and protection. However, those who fear God and obey his Word will experience a deep sense of spiritual security and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. They can be sure that God ultimately will deliver them from death .

1 John 4:18 states, There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. Although this verse may seem contrary to the above information, its all about perspective when we are filled with and washed over by Gods perfect love, we do not need to be afraid of His wrath.

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Fear God With Faith And Love

Stephen R. Karcher, presiding priest, Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church

Theres surely fear involved when approaching the God who is holy, awesome and glorious, Who by a word established the heavens and earth the One Who “clothes himself with light as with a garment”, Who has authority to give life and to take it away.

Yes, theres a natural fear when, as Scripture says, one falls into the hands of the living God. But when communion with Him is normalized, this fear evaporates and leaves behind only awe and wonder. A natural and healthy relationship with the Creator is known by its reverence and love, as the Apostle says, because its what were made for.

Nektarios Pentapoleos says “Those who hope in the Lord have God as their help, so why would they fear anything? Full of faith and love towards God, they live with courage in their good conscience, making their appearance with boldness before their heavenly Father.”

What About Fear Of The Lord In The New Testament

The Greek word translated fear is , the root word of our word phobia. . Interestingly, it seems to have the same usage and meaning as its Hebrew counterpart.

Usage: fear, terror, alarm, the object or cause of fear, reverence, respect.

Thayers Greek Lexicon lists the meanings as:

  • fear, dread, terror
  • reverence, respect
  • One example where fear is certainly not the intended meaning is:

    1 Peter 3:1-2

    1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

    2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

    Unless you think wives should be scared of their husbands, I dont think fear is in view here. Again, I think the idea is the same as when the Hebrews were told to revere their father and mother. Its respect not terror/dread thats in view.

    Another verse:

    1 Peter 3:15

    15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence

    Acts 2:43

    43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.

    Matthew 28:8

    8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

    I could definitely see that.)

    I think this because:

    However, we should definitely revere God and awe is certainly appropriate too.

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    Fear In The New Testament

    Now, is that just for the Old Testament? What does the New Testament say? Philippians 2:1213: Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you. This is really interesting. You should fear and tremble because God is working to keep you. And I think it means the sheer awesome presence of God in our lives working for us, not against us, should produce trembling. That is amazing. So, the New Testament treats the fear of God as a motive for not turning away from him. We should fear in the sense that we seek refuge from God away from Gods terrible wrath. Gods grace in Christ is the refuge from Gods wrath outside Christ. There is terror outside of Christ, and there is a different kind of trembling inside of Christ.

    Fear of God is contrasted with a hard, unperceptive heart

    So, for example, Hebrews 12:25, 28: See that you dont refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. . . . Therefore, let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. That is security. And thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire . In other words, the same thing is there: We are safe. We have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. But our God is a consuming fire. You dont come near him without reverence and awe.

    There Is No Condemnation

    What Does It Mean to Fear the Lord?

    Its important to know that God never punishes His children. If we are in Christ, if we follow Him and walk the path of righteousness with intention, He will not eternally punish us because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. There is no condemnation.

    There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

    So instead of punishing us, He disciplines us like a good father, which usually involves consequences.

    God will allow consequences for our sin. There are always consequences for our actions because, quite simply, God abhors sin, and the consequences will help to mold us into better reflections of Jesus.

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    Eternal Benefits Of The Fear Of The Lord

    So, rather than a paralyzing terror, the positive fear of the Lord taught in the Bible is a key element in change. It helps us have a proper, humble perspective of ourselves in relation to our awesome God it helps us in times of temptation when we need to remember the serious consequences of disobeying God and it motivates us to become more like our loving Creator.

    • Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off .
    • The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death .
    • The fear of the LORD leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction he will not be visited with evil .

    Learn more about Gods power, His laws and His love using the following links:

    What Does The Bible Mean By Fear Of The Lord

    A healthy fear is commanded in the Bible many times. In the KJV alone, fear is found 501 times. There are 18 Fear the Lord Bible Verses addressing this matter. As we can see, fear is discussed many times in Gods Word in some places, fear is forbidden for a Christian. Yet, elsewhere it is encouraged when referring to God. Obviously, the difference in these cases is revealed in the original meaning and context.

    How can a Christian live with a healthy fear of God? Having fear of God means we dont want to consciously go against what He has commanded us in his Word. We may fear the Lord for two reasons: because we want to please him and abound in blessings. In addition, we also do not want to reap the consequences that we deserve from God when we sin.

    Its also being aware that you are in the presence of a holy and just God who requires honor and righteousness. A just God will hold you accountable for your actions if you dont abide by His commands. He gives you a choice to fear Him or fear men. However, you do not choose the consequences for your choices.

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    Study 1 Living In The Fear Of The Lord

    TEN STUDIES IN PROVERBS by Francis Dixon

    In this first study of selected themes from Proverbs we will consider the main emphasis of the book: The Fear of the Lord. We come across this phrase, or variations of it, over and over again in Proverbs and throughout scripture. In our key-verse, for example, which is a point of departure for this subject, two classes of people are mentioned – those who fear the Lord and the foolish ones who do not. In New Testament language the contrast is between the believer and the unbeliever, the saved and the lost. To whet our appetites, notice:

  • 1. God longs that we should fear Him – Deuteronomy 5:29.
  • 2. To fear Him will always be for our good – Deuteronomy 6:24.
  • 3. It is possible to fear the Lord all the time – Proverbs 23:17.
  • 4. Obedience is the proof of fearing the Lord – Genesis 22:12.
  • 5. Church members should fear the Lord – Acts 9:31.
  • 6. Those who fear the Lord are rewarded – Proverbs 13:13 KJV.
  • 7. Here is the secret of all blessing! – Psalm 112:1.
  • How Does The Fear Of The Lord Lead To Knowledge

    Why Does The Bible Say To Fear God?

    Knowledge is the facts, skills, and information one achieves through experience or education. Everyone has knowledge in certain areas. Just like a farmer has knowledge of the land, believers need knowledge of the Lord. To obtain this knowledge, we must be taught. Our teacher is the Lord. He teaches through His Word and Holy Spirit.

    To fear the Lord leads us to respect Him and His laws. We learn how we are to act and even what we should say by fearing the Lord. This fear, or reverence, makes us think before we act or speak. As we gain knowledge, we gain wisdom. In the words of Bruce K. Waltke, knowledge is inseparable from wisdom. Waltke goes on to write in The New International Commentary on the Old Testament that to have wisdom means there is an internalization of spiritual knowledge. To have fear of the Lord is to have knowledge. How could one not fear the Lord when He begins to show them wisdom?

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    The Fear Of The Lord Brings Great Reward

    In his book The Joy of Fearing God, Jerry Bridges says:

    Its odd how little we talk about the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is a wonderful gift from God that has brought joy and gladness into my life and has spared me from unimaginable pain and suffering.

    Yet Ive never heard a message preached on it. I dont hear Christians talking about it. It doesnt seem to be in the forefront of many peoples minds. It may be, but I dont hear much about it. What is this wonderful gift from God, this incredible blessing? It is the fear of the Lord.

    God tells us that to fear him will lead to all kinds of wonderful blessings in our lives. For example, the fear of the Lord leads us to an abundant life.

    The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

    Sin leads to death. God wants us to experience an abundant life a fountain of life. God doesnt tell us to fear him to squelch our fun, but to give us overflowing joy.

    The fear of the Lord gives us great confidence in life and blessing for our children:

    In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.

    The fear of the Lord causes us to experience Gods friendship and to know his covenant promises to us:

    The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

    The Fear Of God Today

    Sometimes it seemsincredible though this is going to soundthat having no fear of God is the root sin of the evangelical church in America today, the root cause of its moral flabbiness and ineffective witness! Although it is certainly too strong to say that there is no fear of God, it does seem that there is too often very little fear of God.

    A few years ago, certain prominent televangelists were making the headlines with the discovery of their blatant sins of financially defrauding trusting supporters and engaging in immoral sexual behavior. And now, once again, the president of the National Baptist Convention has begun a prison term for racketeering to the tune of 4 million dollars and pocketing thousands of dollars entrusted to him for rebuilding burned-out churches in the South. The question that immediately comes to mind is, “Don’t these men fear God?” They were ministers of the Word of God, what the New Testament calls “men of God,” and yet they were living like children of the devil! And after asking whether such “Christians” fear God, one must go on to ask whether they can really believe in God and be guilty of such detestable hypocrisy.

    Jerry Bridges writes: “There was a time when committed Christians were known as God-fearing people. This was a badge of honor. But somewhere along the way we lost it. Now the idea of fearing God, if thought of at all, seems like a relic from the past” .

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    What Does It Mean That The Fear Of The Lord Is The Beginning Of Wisdom

    Fearing the Lord involves seeing how awesome God truly is. The healthy fear of awe shows us the glory of Gods unlimited power and pure holiness.

    For those who arent close to God, seeing Gods glory brings their attention to their sins in contrast to Gods holiness. They may indeed struggle with being afraid of God punishing them for their sins. They may not understand Gods great love and mercy, but encountering wonder can give them glimpses of Gods awesome power.

    People who are connected to God in saving relationships thanks to Jesus sacrifice for all sins no longer have any reason to be afraid. The confidence that salvation brings frees believers to fear the Lord in a positive way, through reverence and awe. As people who love God fear him, they feel gratitude rather than dread, and theyre motivated to worship. Hebrews 12:28-29 declares: Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

    Fearing the Lord is a humbling experience for everyone. An awareness of Gods glory shines a spotlight on where we all are in relationship to God. Are we far away from the Lord? Are we close to him? What direction do we want to move in? Choosing to move closer to God strengthens our faith, which decreases negative fear and increases positive fear .

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