Today, I meditated on all the passages in Proverbs that speak of “fearing the Lord.” According to my brief study, I was reminded that this sort of fear is that which …
- Stems from the divine affection of God (16:6)
- Proves humility – when one is not wise in his own eyes (3:7; 15:33; 22:4)
- Leads to knowledge – when one accumulates God’s truth or facts (1:7; 2:5; 9:10)
- Leads to wisdom – when one rightly applies God’s truth (1:29; 15:33)
- Leads to sanctified affections – when one realizes a transformed heart (8:13; 16:6)
- Leads sanctified speech and actions – when one Spiritual worships (8:13; 16:6)
- Results in more desirable consequences (1:29; 10:27; 14:27; 19:23; 22:4)
- Results in familial blessings (14:26)
- Is to be continued and enjoyed as one looks forward to the future (23:17)
- Is to be considered better than great treasure (15:16)
Clearly, the “fear of the Lord” mentioned above is not the terror and dread shown by Adam and Eve in the Garden. Following their transgression and fall, they wanted nothing to do with their Heavenly Father. They ran, covered themselves, and hid, for they were terrorized by the thought of seeing God again. To “fear the Lord” does not mean one walks about in slavish horror. It is not that characteristic seen in the demons who recognize Jesus and tremble. No my friends, Christians cannot have this sort of fear, for they have been told over and over there is absolutely no condemnation coming their way.
Instead, to “fear the Lord” as a child of the King means one has heard the words of God’s messenger, “Arise; do not be afraid; get up; I have not come to harm you.” To fear the Lord is to respond as did Isaiah and Mary. It is to find oneself perfectly accepted and internally eager to give God the honor, respect, reverence, awe, allegiance, worship, and affection he deserves.
And look at the fantastic benefits. As one follows the irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, and as one finds himself influenced to reverence rightly, one find himself reaping that which he has sown. The “fear of the Lord,” implanted by the Lord, results in a host of benefits.
Therefore today, as I look at the list above, I say to myself, “What’s wrong with me? Who wouldn’t want all those benefits? Why have I made fearing the Lord such a troubling thing?”
However, then sadly continue on and say, “What’s wrong with me? Why do I continually prove not to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? Why do I short-change my Great God and miss all those fantastic benefits that accompany his godly fear?”
But then I remember the Gospel and pray, “Lord, I know you know how I do not reverence and fear you properly — ever. And I am so aware that I deserve none of your fantastic benefits; they have all be forfeited by me. However, you are amazing and I stand amazed; I can’t believe you loved, lived, died, and continue to honor me — one who daily dishonors you. Therefore today, I confess my sin. But I also thank you for freshly affecting my heart. Today, I thank you for gifting me with an increased desire to fear, reverence, respect, awe, and worship you. And I can’t wait to enjoy more of you and your benefits — your knowledge, wisdom, sanctification, and pleasurable providences. Yes Lord, today, I want to fear you more and not less, and would you help me tomorrow as well. For I have been reminded that the ‘fear of the Lord’ is the beginning of wisdom,’ and that is it ‘more valuable than any silver or gold.'”
Revelation 19:4-5 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.