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For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is somet...
Ps 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Pr 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. A more meaningful and accurate translation of Psalm 111:10 would be: To deeply respect YHVH is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endures for ever. Proverbs 9:10 To have a deep respect for YHVH is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Reverence,Ec 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Reverence, have a deep abiding respect toward God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. God doesn't call upon us come to Him as terrified of His awesome power, no indeed, he calls upon us to come to him as we aught to come before our physical father with a deep respect of who they are. YHVH is our God and our Father and as such we should have a deep and abiding respect for His greatness and awesome power which He exercises toward us in infinite grace and steadfast love. He does not want us to have an abject fear of him, but to love him and respect Him as hopefully we do toward our own physical father. Notice what Jesus says in Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Can we imagine that God has such an interest in those who are His, that He knows and can number all the hairs on our head. Amazing closeness. We need to realize the awesome presence of our God and Father is with us continually in all we say, think and do, because of His indwelling spirit in us. We are indeed Temples of the living God individually because of His spirit that indwells us! Knowing this aught to command a deep and abiding respect for Him in our walk on the path He has given us to walk upon, a narrow path but one that leads to age upon age lasting life. When we walk according to the spirit that He has given to us to guide us we show forth our deep and abiding respect for our Father and our God. May He continue according to His awesome and wonderful Grace to give us all we need to properly show our deep and abiding respect toward Him. Indeed, in the final analysis it is all of Him and nothing of ourselves. He never asks anything from us that He is not willing to provide us with the means to do what He has asked of us. Halil Yah - Praise Yahovah!
It might be helpful to begin with what the absence of the fear of God looks like. Adam lost the fear of God when he sinned. To have the fear of God is the opposite of being afraid of Him as Adam was in the garden when he thought he could hide from Him. Gen.3:10-12 "10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” 12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” He became a suppresser of the truth about God and himself. He exchanged the truth of God for a lie. Rather than viewing God as alone worthy of worship and the utmost reverence now he views Him as responsible and blameworthy for his plight. Psa. 36:1-4 1 An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes, When he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. Adam looked at his iniquity and showed his hatred toward Eve and God 3 The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. 4 He devises wickedness on his bed; He sets himself in a way that is not good; He does not abhor evil." Prov. 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate." This is a very brief representation of every person born into the human race. Psa.58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. Apart from being born again all men following the pattern of Adam join the vain attempt to destroy God and his rule. Psalms 2:1-3 1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.”" It is not possible for an unbeliever to fear God. When a person is born again his eyes are opened to begin to see the true nature of everything. He sees that he has sinned and is deserving of punishment. Psalms 130:1-6 1 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord; He sees the plight that he is in and rather than blaming God he cries out to Him. 2 Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. Rather than running away from God he pursues Him. 3 If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? He sees that every man bears the guilt of his own sin and that none will be found righteous especially himself. 4 But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. He knows that God alone has the power to forgive and that forgiveness is necessary to be reconciled to a holy God and that life is not worth living remaining separated from Him and therefore he is resolved to hold out for new life. 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. 6 My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning."
Certainly, the fear of God is all that has been stated in the answers given thus far, but the Bible speaks of ”The Fear of the Lord” in the OT, and it reveals something quite different. David, in Psalm 34:11-14, teaches us the fear of the Lord. It is to bridle the tongue, depart from evil, do good and pursue peace (Psalm 34:13-14). In Psalm 15 (NKJV), David asks of the Lord: “Who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in your Holy Hill?" David’s answer sounds much like the fear of the Lord (Psalm 15:2-3), and indeed, it is one who honors those who fear the Lord (Psalm 15:4). This person gives (to the poor) and defends the innocent. As a consequence, he/she is not moved [shaken] (Psalm 15:5). Who is it that cannot be shaken? In Hebrews 12:28 we find that those who are receiving the Kingdom of Heaven, serving God with reverence and godly fear will not be shaken. It all ties back to ‘the Fear of the Lord’. Did you catch the anomaly in the NKJV of Psalm 15:1? Why does it say IN His holy hill, and not ON His holy hill as it does in the ESV? The Psalmist, in Psalm 48:1-2, tells us that the holy hill is a city – the city of God. It’s name is Mount Zion, the city of our Lord. The Psalmist then refers to the city in the feminine gender (Psalm 48:3), and states that God is her refuge (NKJV). The Church is the bride of Christ, and the Name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it, and are safe (Prov. 18:10). Mt. Zion is God’s Holy Hill, and those who dwell IN it are members of the Church. It is the holy city that comes down from heaven (Rev. 21:2-3), and it is the Church that overcomes (whose names are written in the Book of Life) that can abide in the Lord’s tabernacle. It is after the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:14-15) that Death shall be no more (Rev. 21:4-5), and those who are not shaken will inherit eternal life before God (Rev. 21:6-7). ‘The Fear of the Lord’ is the path to salvation and being ‘born again’: Psalm 111:10 (NKJV) 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. The Lord, himself, is wisdom: 1 Corinthians 1:30 (NKJV) But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- It is not a worldly wisdom: 1 Corinthians 2:6 (NKJV) However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But it is a mystery: 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NKJV) 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. The mystery is ‘Christ In you’, the hope of glory: Colossians 1:26-27 (NKJV) 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. The hope of glory can only be realized by walking in ‘The Fear of the Lord’ while dwelling IN Mount Zion, the city on the sides of the north – the Church.
In a simplistic way of looking at or answering this question, I will state that God wants us to know He is real, that He exists and that He is all powerful, omnipresent and all-knowing; from "Everlasting to everlasting, He is God." He is present all around us and all His creation declares His glory and His power that is to be first FEARED, by His incomprehensible greatness. The Bible tells us that "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom" and, ultimately, our salvation; by which we begin to first believe that He does exist! He also, at His choosing, reveals Himself to many in various ways and circumstances; for example, a tribesman in the middle of Africa that has never before today ever heard of or had prior knowledge of God; suddenly the Lord speaks to his inner spirit! This is an example of that first 'twinge' of the human emotion we call 'fear of God'. "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of divine wisdom". This is God's Holy Spirit at work. God truly, truly does work in mysterious ways for which we cannot understand. His Holy Spirit "blows and travels where it chooses for which we cannot know or understand". Fear of the Lord is also the beginning of a complete reverence, honor and praise state of mind! "To God be the Glory, Honor and Praise, Amen and Amen!" --Andy--
What could motivate us to obey God willingly? Moses mentions one factor, saying: “Fear Jehovah your God.” (Verse 12) This is not a morbid dread of bad consequences but, rather, a healthy, reverential regard for God and his ways. If we are filled with a profound awe of God, we will want to avoid displeasing him.
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