The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the
knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” These lines were written by the wisest man in the Bible: King Solomon. His wisdom was given by God, and shared with us in God's Word. But somewhere along the way, we've turned away from these words of wisdom, and started listening to our own “wisdom” instead, with serious consequences.
The church today has moved away from the concept of fear. Fear isn't something that people want to hear about. Instead they prefer soft warm and
cuddly messages that make them feel good about themselves. They want to hear uplifting motivating messages that tell them how they can live
their best life now. No one wants to hear the old-fashioned, so-called “hellfire and damnation” preaching, because it's too depressing. It's too frightening,
it's too preachy, it's too harsh. They want just a mushy, “God loves you”, feel-good religion, without any mention of fear. Nothing too demanding, nothing that requires too much from them.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:
but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Pr. 1:7)
No, unfortunately, people despise wisdom and truth these days, even within the church. They don't want instruction, they just want to do whatever seems okay to them. They don't have that reverential fear of the Lord. Today's church says you can't use scare tactics to make people turn to the Lord.
But fear has always been a powerful factor in determining human behavior. For instance, from earliest childhood, we use fear of the consequences to teach young children not to do certain things that we know will be harmful to them. Don't run into the street, you might get hit by a car. Don't talk to strangers, there are bad people out there. This fear is a tool we use to protect our children from harm.
Once they start school, the fear of punishment helps them to learn to behave appropriately. Fear of being sent to the principal's office often keeps them from making unwise choices. Fear of parental punishment may keep them from making getting into trouble, when they know that the punishment is certain to be forthcoming.
Even later in life fear shapes our behavior. Fear of the consequences keeps people from cheating on their taxes, cheating on their spouses, stealing from their jobs, and other such undesirable behaviors. Fear is a powerful motivating factor all our lives.
And if fear of human factors shapes our behavior, how much more should we fear the Lord Jehovah God Almighty? It is a wise person who recognizes God's supremacy in his life, and God's divine sovereignty over all creation. And the first step in this profound wisdom is fear of the Lord.
Just as fear keeps a young child from doing undesirable things that can cause them harm and make his parents unhappy, fear of the Lord keeps us from doing undesirable things that cause us harm and displease the Lord our God, our Heavenly Father. In addition, there are benefits that are promised to us when we have this reverential fear for the Lord, just as there are consequences that are also certain when this fear is absent in our lives.
We should have a reverential fear of the Lord because He merely speaks, and His will is done. He is Almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing. He is Jehovah God Almighty, and there is no other god like Him.
Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of
the world stand in awe of Him. For He spake, and it was
done; He commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalms 33:8-9)
We should reverentially fear God because His eye is on us, waiting to deliver us from death. He is our protection, our help and our shield.
He gives us mercy, according to our faith in Him.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear Him,
The Lord is good to us when we have this fear of Him. He blesses us when we trust in Him. He sends His angels to protect us and deliver us.
upon them that hope in His mercy; To deliver their soul
from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul
waiteth for the LORD: He is our help and our shield. For
our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted
in His holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon
us, according as we hope in thee. (Psalms 33:18-22)
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them
Our days on this earth are numbered, for sure – but God promises everlasting life to those who fear Him. When we keep His covenant, and walk in obedience
to His commandments, we honor Him, and He blesses us - and His righteousness will be upon our children.
that fear Him, and delivereth them. O taste and see
that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that
trusteth in Him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for
there is no want to them that fear Him. (Psalms 34:7-9)
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the
We begin to become wise when we have a reverential fear of the Lord. True wisdom comes only from Him. Worldly wisdom will always be found to be lacking; only by living for the Lord and following
His commandments can we develop true, lasting wisdom.
field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it,
and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no
more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting
to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His
righteousness unto children's children; To such as
keep His covenant, and to those that remember His
commandments to do them. (Psalms 103:15-18)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
Choosing to not fear the Lord has devastating consequences. When we refuse to listen and obey, when we deliberately ignore his correction and reproof,
God has said He will not answer when we call on Him, and though we will seek Him when catatrophe comes upon us, He will not be found. He will turn His back on us, just as we turned our backs on Him, and allow us to suffer the consequences of our own actions.
a good understanding have all they that do His
commandments: His praise endureth for ever.
When your fear cometh as desolation, and your
The Bible makes it clear that the fear of the Lord is our refuge, our place of safety, He is One in whom we can safely rely to sustain us, deliver us, protect us, and see us through
every storm in life. No other can make that claim; no other can assure us of eternal life. He is the fountain of life, the fountain of living water to those who fear Him and place theor trust in Him.
destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress
and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they
call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall
seek me early, but they shall not find me: For
that they hated knowledge, and did not choose
the fear of the LORD: They would none of my
counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore
shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and
be filled with their own devices.(Proverbs 1:27-31)
In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence:
Christians may not like to hear the word fear in relationship to God. Nowadays people would much rather just talk about God's love and His goodness, but they do not want to hear about His wrath.
They do not want to hear about the penalty for sin. Nobody wants to hear about hell, it makes people too uncomfortable. But A day of reckoning will come, and we must tell people. Jesus
Himself told His disciples not to be afraid of men, but to fear God.
and His children shall have a place of refuge.
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to
depart from the snares of death. (Pro. 14:26- 27)
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able
When all is said and done, it is our duty to fear God, and keep His commandments. While the rest of the world does not want to hear it, that is the hidden secret to
happiness and contentment, and the way to receive God's greatest blessings. We gain wisdom and understanding when we are willing to humble ourselves before Almighty God, and in reverential fear, acknowledge His Sovereignty
over our lives. That is what gives our lives meaning and purpose. That is what we were created for!
to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to
destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this
is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)