What exactly is fear of the Lord?


Proverbs 9:10

NKJV - 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 08 2020 Stringio Marguerite Bayman

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
To "fear" God means to hold God in a combination or respect, awe, and reverence (which I would say is the only fitting response of a human to a Being who is eternal, holy, all-powerful, all-present, and all-knowing, as well as responsible for the very existence of humanity in the first place). 

However, He has at the same time demonstrated (as recorded in the Bible) that He also loves humanity sufficiently (despite humans' universal rebellion and disobedience to Him and His commandments) to incarnate and sacrifice His own Son -- imposing upon Him the entire penalty for that sin from eternity past to eternity future -- so that humans could exist eternally in His presence through faith in that sacrifice (rather than in their own works or righteousness). This should prompt a similar response of love (as well as trust) of those saved humans toward Him, leading them to want to obey His commandments.

That is why Martin Luther (for example), in his discussion of the Ten Commandments, started his explanation of the meaning of each of those commandments with the words, "We should fear and love God..." that we should do what the commandment requires.

December 09 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Jim Dubé Former pastor
Here is what the Bible tells me:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Pr. 1:7).

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Pr. 9:10). [NOTE: wisdom and knowledge are NOT the same; the combination of knowledge, understanding AND action equals wisdom (K+U+A=W) - wisdom does not come from just hearing, but from hearing and doing - see Mt. 7:24-27]

The fear of God must be chosen (Pr. 1:29).

The instructions for how to fear the Lord are given in scripture (Pr 2:1-5).

The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant (Ps 25:14). 

The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him (Ps. 33:18).

Forgiveness comes only from God, that He may be feared (Ps. 130:4).

The fear of God keeps us from sinning (Ex. 20:20).

The fear of God is to hate evil (Pr. 8:13).

The fear of Jehovah is His treasure (Is. 33:6).

And finally, I came to understand the very nature of fearing God by reading, of all things, a children's book: Kenneth Grahame's, "The Wind in the Willows." Here is an excerpt from it:

The Rat & Mole are looking for God’s presence…

“This is the place of my song-dream, the place the music played to me,” whispered the Rat, as if in a trance. “Here, in this holy place, here if anywhere, surely we shall find Him.”

Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror – indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy – but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august Presence was very, very near…

Perhaps he would never have dared to raise his eyes, but that the call and the summons seemed still dominant and imperious. He might not refuse, were Death himself waiting to strike him instantly, had he looked with mortal eyes on things rightly kept hidden. Trembling he obeyed, and raised his humble head; and then…he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper….

“Rat!” he found breath to whisper, shaking. “Are you afraid?”

“Afraid?” murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love. “Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet – and yet – O, Mole, I am afraid!”

Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows. (1978), London: Methuen Children’s Books Ltd., pp. 134-136.

October 29 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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