The Fear of the Lord

Psalm 89: 6-7 “For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” The Lord is Greatly to be feared! Luke tells us in Acts 9:31 that the New Testament church walked in the fear of the Lord. “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” We often talk about: Walking in newness of life – Romans 6:4, Walking in the Spirit – Galatians 5:16, Walking in Good works – Ephesians 2:10, Walking in Love – Ephesians 5:2, or Walking in Wisdom – Colossians 4:5. But, we must also walk in the fear of the Lord. We must Fear the Lord for he is greatly to be feared. Paul writes in Philippians 2:12 – 13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” The early church walked in fear and we are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling!

The Lord told the Children of Israel in Leviticus 25:17 “thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the Lord your God.” We have reason to fear. Jeremiah 5:21-22 “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?” The Lord has power beyond our imagination and there is good reason to fear him! Jesus said in Matthew 10:28; “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The Hebrew writer tells us; “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:27) The writer begins his statement here with the promises of the Lord. “Behold I go to prepare a place for you that where I am there you may be also!” – John 14:2 We who have been baptized and are following the Lord have been promised a home eternal. But, the writer goes on to admonish us. “Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” We are told to server God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. If there is acceptable service there must also be service that is unacceptable! We must server God with reverence and fear because there is a service, which is unacceptable to him, and our God is a consuming fire! Hebrews 4:1 “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”

The Fear of the Lord serves an important place in the lives of Christians. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Likewise: Psalm 11:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Instruction in the ways of the Lord begins with Fear. When we read the scriptures we find that we have sinned, and we learn about the consequences of sin. This should cause us to fear and motivate us to change.  Proverbs 16:6 “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” How is it that men depart from evil? By the fear of the Lord. II Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” It is the fear of the Lord that motivates us to Change! Jude 1:23 “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

Ephesians 5:15 – 17 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” It is through the fear of the Lord that we walk circumspectly. The word meaning literally, accurate, exact. II Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

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