“The FEAR of the Lord”: What does it mean? And WHY is it important?

The FEAR of the Lord

This year has certainly seen more than its share of extreme and fanatical acts!

On October 15, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law SB179, making California the first state to sanction gender-free (non-binary) birth certificates and driver’s licenses.

On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring 546.

Throughout 2017, militant riots have been occurring at college campuses across the country – mostly attacking the right of free speech - and costing local businesses and taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

WHY?

This radical increase in rampant sexual immorality, violent behavior and general lawlessness in our society can be directly attributed to one thing: The loss of a reasonable fear of the God of the Bible.

The phrase “the Fear of the Lord” is mentioned 32 times in Proverbs, and variations of this thought are scattered throughout Scripture hundreds of times.

There must be a reason that whenever the word “fear” was used, it was not substituted with a kinder, gentler word such as “reverence”, “awe”, “respect”, or “honor”. FEAR is the word used. However, our current culture seems to be afraid of putting the two words Fear and God together in the same sentence.   chaos

Could it be that we are afraid of offending someone? But scripture is clear in its teaching that we are to fear God, not man (Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:4-5; Isaiah 8:12, Isaiah 8:13,Hebrews 10:31 )

Or maybe we are afraid that our message will sound too harsh to the unsaved? After all, our God is a God of love!

Here is a powerful Biblical principle to ponder: The Love of God means nothing without the Wrath of God as its balance.

Our God is a God of contrasts who has placed us in a world of contrasts. Night and day, darkness and light, good and evil, true and false, etc.  Would we ever understand Mercy if there was no Judgment? Would we ever appreciate health if not for sickness?

How could God’s children appreciate His precious Love if He did not balance this love with the reality of His Holy wrath toward sin?

Remember. Scripture states clearly that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments.” (Psalm 111:10).

In Psalm 34 King David says: “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. … Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it”.

In 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul says: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad”.

Charles Spurgeon

Thus, a healthy fear of disobeying, disrespecting, or disdaining the Word of the Almighty God is truly something to foster in our hearts – and in the hearts of our children!... “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27).

— There must ever be a holy fear mixed with the Christian's joy. This is a sacred compound, yielding a sweet smell, and we must see to it that we burn no other upon the altar. Fear, without joy, is torment; and joy, without holy fear, would be presumption."

― Charles Spurgeon, from "THE TREASURY OF DAVID Vol.1 (Psalms 1-25)"