Lessons on The Fear of the Lord
When Bible readers come across 1 John 4:18 which says, “18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”, and “Proverbs 9:10, 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”, some were confused and claim contradiction. We believe that there is no contradiction in the Bible. Though the 66 books of our Bible were written by about 40 authors in a span of 1500 years, in three different continent and 3 different languages, they are all written harmoniously because behind all these, is God – the ultimate author. So today, I want to share with you a few lessons on fear of the Lord in the Bible.
1. God designed fear to be good.
“10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.” Proverbs 9:10-12
· Fear of the Lord – a reverential awe, a very high esteem for the Lord.
· Giving Him the highest place and the greatest value in one’s life.
· A properly placed fear is good.
Matthew 10: 28, 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
· The fear of the Lord will prompt a person to know Him.
· Knowing who God is will help a person to better relate with Him.
· Under the guidance of God, the fear of the Lord is the undercurrent that moves a person to come closer to Him. See Ephesians 1:11.
2. The fear of the Lord loses its ground to sin.
“There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18.
· The reverential awe reserved for the Creator has been assigned to created beings. See Genesis 3:1-9 as an example.
· Eve gave more weight to Satan’s word than God’s. See Gen. 3:6.
· The fear of the Lord that once gave mankind knowledge of God and godly wisdom for living, has now become unappealing. See Rom. 3:10-12.
· The fear of the Lord now competes with fear of men. Matthew 10: 28, “28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
· We are now more concerned with what people think about us, rather than what God says.
3. Jesus regained the lost ground of “the fear of the Lord.”
13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.” John 13:13.
· In the New International Version of our Bible, the word Lord occurs 7143 times of the Old Testament, 618 times in the New Testament.
· Foundational to understanding the fear of the Lord is to know who the Lord is.
· The LORD refers to the divine Person we call God.
The fear of the Lord produces several things in us.
· It produces faith. A person is graciously called to know the Lord. Jesus chose people to become His followers and learners of His divine teachings. See John 1:39-50.
· It produces a strong desire to learn His ways. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so…” John 13:13.
· It will produce humble confidence in God’s unfailing love. “16 And so we know and rely on the love God have for us. God is love.Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16.
· It will produce complete confidence in God’s assurance of salvation. “17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:17-18. (Thus, this is not a contradiction to Proverbs 9:10-12, but the consequence of having fear of the Lord.)