Daily Word #4: What Does It Mean To Fear God or The Fear The Lord? Part 1
What does it mean to fear God or fear the Lord? What type of fear is it speaking about?
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.
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.