by Dennis Hinks
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of
knowledge” (Prov. 1:7a NIV).
The dictionary gives several meanings to the word fear. The fear we all are acquainted with is “the feeling of alarm or disquiet caused by the expectation of danger, pain, disaster or the like.” This type of fear does not apply to our relationship with God, for He is a God of love.(See 1 Jn 4:8,16) The definition of the fear we are studying reads “extreme reverence or awe.”
Scripture describes the fear of God in a very positive way. Not only is it a necessity, but it is also good! It must influence all aspects of a person’s life.
- Fear of God Is a Requirement.
- We owe it to God.
“For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens” (1 Chron. 16:25.26). “Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due” (Jer. 10:7).
- It must take priority over fear of people.
“I tell you my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him” (Luke 12:4).
- The Fear of the Lord Can Be Learned and Chosen
- Rulers can command others to fear God.
“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel” (Dan. 6:26).
- Fearing God is a choice
“...They hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord” (Prov. 1:29).
- It can be taught and learned.
“Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully the word of this law. Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess” (Deut. 31:12-13). “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Psa. 34:11).
- It can be understood.
“...If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Prov. 2:3-5).
- The Fear of God Must Have a Constant and Welcome Presence in a Person’s Life.
- We must fear the Lord continually.
“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord” (Prov. 23:17).
- We should delight to fear the Lord.
Jesus is our example of delighting in the fear of God.
“...The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:2-3). (A prophecy spoken of the coming Messiah.)
- The fear of God is a constant influence on how we live.
“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers [temporary residents] here in reverential fear” (1 Pet.1:17).
- The Fear of the Lord Is Pure; When Present, It Influences a Person’s Conduct.
- Pure, not with ulterior (hidden to deceive) motives.
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” (Job 1:9). (Those words were spoken by Satan. The events that followed proved Satan’s accusation false.)
“The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever” (Psa. 19:9a).
- The fear of God is associated with hatred of evil.
“To fear the Lord is to hate evil” (Prov. 8:13a).
- The fear of God is associated with wisdom and knowledge.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psa. 111:10 & Prov. 9:10). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7).
—Adapted from Dennis Hinks Web site (www.journal33.org).
Used with permission.
The Way of the Righteous
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
Psa. 1: 1-3 NK
Top of page >