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The Fear of the Lord

Description

True fear of God is about remembering Who God truly is, and living in the light of that. As we do so, a whole number of blessings follow.

Always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:17-18)

Fear is a powerful emotion. At its best, it can preserve our life; at its worst, it leads to lying and cheating, to death and destruction. But there is a fear in life which, if we understand it properly, always works for good, and never for harm. It is “the fear of the Lord.”

By “the fear of the Lord,” the Bible doesn’t mean “being afraid” of Him; indeed, if we have trusted in Jesus, we have no need to fear for we have come to understand that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Rather, what it means is that we should have a proper respect of and reverence for God and His commandments. Of course, God wants us to be His friends! But we shouldn’t reduce that to the mere level of “being pals” that leads us to treat Him lightly or with no sense of “healthy respect.” True fear of God is about remembering Who God truly is, and living in the light of that.

As we do so, a whole number of blessings follow, the Bible promises. In fact, in the book of Proverbs alone we are told that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7); that “the fear of the Lord adds length to life” (10:27); that “the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death” (14:27); that “the fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom” (15:33); that “through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil” (16:6); that “the fear of the Lord leads to life: then one rests content, untouched by trouble” (19:23); that “the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life” (22:4). Little wonder then that the writer urges us to “always be zealous for the fear of the Lord” (23:17).

Don’t be afraid of God today; but do have a healthy respect for Him and His word. If you do, it will go well with you!

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:18)

© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

 

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