While looking at the various passages on fear, particularly fear of the Lord, I have noticed something very peculiar. A.W. Tozer has said multiple times that Christians are a “peculiar race” or a “peculiar people.” This is because the glory of God is so strikingly different than the fallen sinful nature of man. Indeed, in our fallen, sinful, unregenerate state, God seems peculiar and His followers (people) do as well. This examination of fear is no different. It is a natural inclination for us as humans to avoid fear. For example, my fiance Erica is afraid of spiders. She has an obvious and real fear of them. Just the other day, we were sitting on the couch and Erica noticed a spider that was sitting on a blanket on the floor below our feet. She immediately jumped off of the couch and starting getting short of breath “urging” me to kill it while she stood very far away. As I was about to smash the little spider with my shoe, Erica shouts, “No! Don’t kill him!” Ha! She was afraid so she wanted the spider gone; gone, not dead. She was a little late. The point is, we are all afraid of something and maybe multiple things. And you can be certain that we do not pursue our fears. Erica definitely does not say, “Hey, let’s go buy a tarantula!” How absurd would it be for her to pursue a spider as a pet when she is so afraid of them. She would live in terror.
Now, I am not going to give a definition of the “fear of the Lord” in this post. Some say it only means reverence (and in fact it usually/generally does) when there are in fact cases where the phrase does take on a more literal meaning; a joyful trembling in His presence, if you will. For now, the purpose of this post will be to give you fifteen reasons why we should eagerly pursue the fear of the Lord. Peculiar as it is, the fear of the Lord brings tremendous blessing. I pray you would consider each of these:
1. It is wise to fear the Lord
“And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'” – Job 28:28
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” – Proverbs 1:7
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” – Proverbs 9:10
“The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom…” – Proverbs 15:33
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” – Psalm 111:10
2. The fear of the Lord results from forgiveness.
“The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever…” – Psalm 19:9
“But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” – Psalm 130:4
All of these promises and assurances and hopes are only so because of #2. Without His grace and forgiveness we will not experience any of this. Therefore, true fear of the Lord results from His forgiveness of our sins and our justification in His sight.
3. You will have friendship with God.
“The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.” – Psalm 25:14
4. God will watch over you.
“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love” – Psalm 33:18
5. You will have the care and deliverance of God and His angels.
“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.” – Psalm 34:7
“…but you shall fear the LORD your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” – 2 Kings 17:39
6. You will be freed from craving.
“Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!” – Psalm 34:9
7. God will pour out His great love and mercy on you forever.
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him” – Psalm 103:11
“But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him…” – Psalm 103:17
8. God will show you compassion.
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.” – Psalm 103:13
“And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.” – Luke 1:50
9. You will be blessed.
“Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments!” – Psalm 112:1
“Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!” – Psalm 128:1
10. You will be enjoyed by God.
“But the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” – Psalm 147:11
11. Fearing God will prolong life.
“The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.” – Proverbs 10:27
You can view this in two ways. (1) Generally speaking, this will be true. Those who obey the commands of God (one result of fearing Him) will generally live a long life. However, we obviously know that there are those who have been more reverent than most and did not live a long life because of their radical devotion to make Christ known. Proverbs must be read from a generalist perspective. (2) Also, you could view this in a much larger scope. Indeed, this verse is an understatement as we have seen that those who fear God will have His love forever. As a result of His forgiveness and justification through our faith in Christ alone, we will fear Him and live forever in His presence. So, yes, the lives of those who “fear the LORD” are indeed “prolong[ed].”
12. You will have confidence and assurance.
“In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence and his children will have a refuge.” – Proverbs 14:26
13. You may drink at the fountain of life.
“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” – Proverbs 14:27
14. You can turn from evil.
“By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.” – Proverbs 16:6
15. You will be satisfied.
“The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.” – Proverbs 19:23
I pray that you will joyfully tremble in fear of the Lord today.
By His Grace — For His Glory — For our Joy