Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 7:1
“Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God” [2 Corinthians 7:1 NLT]
Throughout Scripture, and especially in the Book of Proverbs we find the phrase, “The fear of the Lord”. Consider just four of the fifteen references to the fear of the Lord in the Book of Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” [Proverbs 1:7]; “To fear the Lord is to hate evil” [Proverbs 8:13]; The fear of the Lord adds length to life [Proverbs 10:27]; “…always be zealous for the fear of the Lord” [Proverbs 23:7]. These verses tell me that the fear of the Lord is not some cringing and unhealthy fear, but is good and wholesome. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge [of God], to hate sin, and to have a deep respect and reverence for God.
The fear of the Lord is the awesome respect for the person of the Lord Jesus and His authority, which when we understand it excludes evil and ensures righteousness in our lives. A comment in the margin of the NIV Study Bible on Ecclesiastes 12:13 defines the fear of the Lord as, “A loving reverence for God that includes submission to His lordship and to the commands of His word.” You cannot separate the fear of the Lord and obedience to the Lord.
The Psalmist wrote, “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways” [Psalm 128:1]. After Abraham had been prepared to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice the angel of said to him, “Now I know that you fear God” [Genesis 22:12].
The Bible speaks of amazing blessings that come to the person who fears the Lord:
It is PROTECTIVE – “The fear of the Lord keeps you from evil” [Proverbs 16:16]. “For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear Him” [Psalm 34:7].
It is LIFE-GIVING – “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death [Proverbs 14:27]; it adds length to life [Proverbs 10:27].
It brings PEACE and CONTENTMENT – “The fear of the Lord leads to life: then one rests content, untouched by trouble” [Proverbs 19:23].
It brings WEALTH, HONOUR and LIFE – “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth, honour and life [Proverbs 22:4].
Finally, to fear the Lord is a choice that we have to make. The writer of Proverbs says, “They… did not choose to fear the Lord,” [Proverbs 1:29] and commands us to “… always be zealous for the fear of the Lord [Proverbs 23:17].
By obedience and submission to God and His Word we choose to fear the Lord!
Why do you think that the fear of the Lord is so important? What new thing have you learned today about the fear of the Lord? In what way does your life reveal to others that you fear of the Lord?