People have asked me, what does it mean to fear the Lord? Do we need to fear Him because God is angry and mean? Quite the contrary. He is a loving, merciful, longsuffering, compassionate God. Yet, the scriptures tell us time and again to fear the Lord; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Perhaps it’s the word “fear” that confuses people. Most equate the word fear to an impending danger as dictionary.com defines fear. But it also describes it as “to have a reverential awe of,” which is how fear is to be used towards God.
So what are some ways to have this reverential awe of God, or in other words, to fear the Lord?
- be humbled at His awesomeness
- be made speechless at His holiness
- become awestruck at His majesty
- quake at His wrath against sin
- tremble at His incredible power
- be overcome by His unending mercy
- be captured by His unsearchable love
- grasp that He is God and we are not
So let us revere God, be humbled, speechless, awestruck, quake, tremble, be overcome and captured by Him. Let us grasp that He is God; there is no one like Him. And let us grow wise in the knowledge of Him that we may live or lives well, fully pleasing Him and being fruitful in every good work. The best way to know God, to learn of his awesomeness, His holiness, His unending mercy, is by reading the scriptures daily. Let His laws be a delight to your soul, meditating on them day and night. And in doing so, you will learn what the fear of the Lord is all about.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. – Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. – Proverbs 9:10