I can’t stand scary movies. I’ve watched a few in my lifetime, mainly as a teenager, and even to this day, I still have many of those images engraved in my mind which continue to bring up fear from time to time. This type of fear is a selfish type of fear for my own safety. I get afraid of crazy people doing crazy bad things. Even though I’ve told many of the youth surrounding me that these types of movies will have lasting effects on their lives as they open up doors to the soul, they don’t believe me and see them as a fun type of entertainment.
While we are not suppose to subject ourselves to fear through watching scary ‘entertainment,’ for example, God tells us in the rest of our lives that we are not to fear the world and all that is within it, as He promises to be with us and strengthen us through anything that we will go through. In this case, God says, “Do not fear… the world.”
“‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ ” Isaiah 41:10
But, today, we are going to talk about another type of fear, not a scary fear, nor a fear of the world, but, rather a reverent fear of the Lord. The Bible talks about this type of fear, the fear of the Lord, is actually the beginning of wisdom. If you want wisdom, first you must obtain this type of fear. Without this type of fear, there can be no wisdom, or understanding obtained related to God’s Word.
- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” Psalm 111:10
- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
- “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:2
In opposite, when we do not have this type of fear, then our hearts will lead us to wickedness.
- “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.” Psalm 36:10
What is the Fear of the Lord? The Bible uses this term over 300 times in relation to God, so it must be important and when we don’t focus on it, but rather downplay it, it can have a very negative affect on our lives. Essentially, by fearing the Lord, we are holding ourselves accountable to God. We don’t want to let Him down, but even more so, we don’t want to sin against Him as we know He is fully aware of everything we do and think every day. This fear keeps our sin in check and stops us from doing things that we might be inclined to do in our sinful nature. Like, we may want to be mean to someone who hurt us, but since God tells us that we must forgive as He forgave us, we are fully aware that He is right by us when we decide to make the decision to forgive or to pay back the wrong. He keeps track and we don’t want to be on His naughty list as God can turn up the heat on us a bit if we’re not listening to His wisdom. This is a healthy fear that leads us to a greater understanding of God and His path of righteousness.
Sadly, many don’t have the fear of the Lord today as we’ve forgotten this one, huge aspect of God in our culture today. We have forgotten that God is perfectly holy and He hates sin. We tend to overlook this part of God and instead just focus more on His love and grace, to our own detriment. If we never focus on His detest for sin, then we will never have a fear that leads to greater knowledge of God.
“32 In the end [sin] bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. 34 You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.[a]” Proverbs 23:32-34
So, don’t be like the many who are single-sided and lacking wisdom, but instead, focus on all of God’s attributes, which includes fearing the very God that not only watches all that we do, but will judge all deeds, and has the capability of destroying the soul in hell.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” Philippians 2:12
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
Father God, Help us to fear you out of respect and appreciation which will keep us from going down the path of the wicked. Teach us better about all of your character and help us to hold ourselves accountable to your word. Teach us understanding and wisdom through fear of you so that we can know you better. We love you for all that you are. In Jesus name. Amen.