Fear of the Lord
Prov. 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Job 28:28 “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.”
Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments, His praise endures forever.”
Many dismiss the importance of the “fear of the Lord” today, trying to avoid the concept of being afraid of God. Too often the concept is translated as reverence, reverential respect, or Awe, disregarding the fact that, these are the results of the fear of the Lord. One of the best definitions I have ever heard was “apprehension of incurring God’s wrath.” If one is guilty of sin he had better be afraid of God. For judgment is coming.
Let us allow Scripture to interpret Scripture.
Prov. 28:9 “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.” Is not that alarming, that our prayers can be an abomination to Holy God? If God regards our prayers as an abomination we had better be afraid of God.
Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.” In other words, if we keep hidden in our heart unconfessed sins, even though suppressed for the moment, we are refusing to repent and have no desire to truly forsake them. No matter how we justify regarding iniquity, (paying attention to, thinking upon or viewing as fantasy) it is sin, rebellion against God. Therefore God refuses to hear our prayers. Is that not sufficient reason to fear the Lord? If there is no repentance there is no forgiveness. And if God will not hear us, how will we find deliverance from trouble, or help in time of need? If we have come to the place where God will not hear, we had better be afraid of His wrath.
Prov. 28:13-14 “He that covers his sins will not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Happy is the man who is always reverent, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” Covering up our sins is the result of a hardened heart. A hardened heart is one that cannot be touched by the tender mercies of God. It is determining to do wrong and believing that sins can be hidden from Holy God. Since He sees and knows all things, we had better be afraid of what He must do because of such rebellion against His will.
Prov. 23:17 “But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day:” The fear of the Lord is not a momentary response. It is an attitude of mind and heart. It is how a true believer walks every day in every circumstance. For fear of the Lord is “apprehension of incurring God’s wrath.”
So don’t be afraid of Him, but fear incurring, provoking, His Wrath. The fear of the Lord really is the beginning of wisdom.