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February 14, 2006

Fear of the Lord – Revised 3.13.2016

Filed under: Bible Studies,Old and New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 4:54 pm

What does the phrase “the fear of the LORD” refer to?

A Bible Study by Adam Osborne, Jr.

A bible study for Leonardtown Baptist Church, Men’s Ministry 3.12.2016

• Over 300 times that the Fear of the Lord is used in the bible
• What do you think of when you think: “Fear of the Lord?
⁃ When we think of fear, we associate the term with terror.
• Webster’s Dictionary defines fear as “a feeling of anxiety and agitation produced by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, pain, etc.”
• For many, this would describe the feeling you get when you see a snake, go to the doctor or dentist, or when you find yourself in a time of extreme danger. It is dread of the unknown.
▪ In our modern vernacular, the word fear, has been replaced with reverence, awe, great respect.

  • When looking up the STRONG definitions of the various forms of the word FEAR, my findings are that the word does not always translate well and that “fear” is actually more accurate than reverence or respect. However, I am NOT educated on properly translating Hebrew, Greek or Latin.
  • Most commentaries believe what the writers of most commentaries believe about this phrase is that we are to have a deep reverence and respect for the Lord. Literally, we are to be awed and humbled by His presence.

Well then, what does that look like in our lives? What does that look like in a life that is actually fearing the Lord as we should?

How are you to recognize that you are living out scriptures correctly, or recognize that others understand these scriptures?

▪ When we truly fear the Lord, we will recognize that He is the Creator and we are the creatures.
▪ He is the Master and we are the servants. He is the Father and we are the children.
▪ This attitude will manifest itself in our having a respect for God, His word and in our having a desire to do what He tells us to in His Bible.
▪ We can relate this kind of fear to that which a child has for his parents. If the right kind of fear is present, the child knows that his parents can hurt him if there is disobedience, but overriding that fear is the knowledge that disobedience hurts the parents and the child loves and respects his parents and does not want to hurt them.
▪ It can be said that the fear of the Lord is at least a deep seated reverence for God that causes men to want to please Him at all costs.
Oswald Chambers, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that, when you fear God, you fear nothing else; whereas, if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”


According to numerous books of the bible, the fear of the Lord will produce certain benefits in your life and mine. When we fear the Lord, we will find certain things to be true.

#1 – It Is The Beginning Of Wisdom

Prov 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Prov 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
• The best place to begin the search for true wisdom is in the fear of the Lord.
• True fear of the Lord is born out of a knowledge of how infinitely powerful,
majestic and full of goodness God is.
• Before one can grow in the Lord, he must first learn to fear Him.

#2 – It Motivates People To Holiness

Prov 3:7 “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
Prov 16:6 “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
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.
▪ These verse tell us that the fear of the Lord promotes holy living.
▪ The person who truly reverences and respects the Lord as he should will not do
anything that brings disgrace, dishonor or pain to the heart of the Lord.
▪ People who genuinely fear the Lord will flee from evil. The prospect of causing
the Lord pain will be too great to bear!

Job is a great example of what the fear of the Lord will produce in your life, Job 1:8

  • Job 1:8 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”

#3 – It Prolongs Life

Prov 10:27 “The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.”
▪ This is not a blanket promise because any number of things can happen along the road of life that can take us out of here in an instant. However, generally speaking, those who live in the fear of the Lord are more likely to live to a good old age than those who live for the flesh and the world.

#4 – It Produces A Sense Of Security
Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”
Romans 8:31, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
▪ When we are walking in the fear of the Lord, we can have confidence that God is on our side.
▪ The person who is walking in the fear of the Lord and is living by the Book will have fewer feelings of insecurity, abandonment and fear.
▪ There will be far fewer times when salvation is doubted. The fear of the Lord produces a strong sense of security and close fellowship with the Father. This is a blessed benefit!

#5 – It Produces Life

Prov 14:27, “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”
▪ When we walk in the fear of the Lord, we are stronger spiritually than we could be otherwise.
▪ The fear of the Lord is like a fountain that continually springs up with spiritual vitality and strength.
▪ This enables the Christian to walk cleaner and closer thus avoiding the temptations and traps of the devil.

# 6 – It Makes All Of Life Better

Prov 15:16, “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.”
▪ This verse teaches us that it is better to have limited resources and be in the will of God than it is to have plenty and the trouble that comes along with it.
▪ The bottom line here is this, when you are in the Lord’s will, and when you are walking in His fear, then your care is His responsibility,
▪ Matt. 6:25-33; Phil. 4:19. The life filled with “things” and riches is a trouble filled life.

#7 – It Produces Satisfaction And Safety

Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.”
Proverbs 14:26 ” In the fear [3374] of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.”
▪ The person who lives in the fear of God will be a satisfied person.
▪ They will have one goal in live, pleasing the Lord, and it will have been met.
▪ Therefore, they will have all their needs met and they will be happy.
▪ When we must have other stuff to make us happy, we never will be!
▪ When we learn to be satisfied with the Lord and with the privilege of walking in His fear, we will be permanently satisfied.
▪ Nothing will matter but the smile of God and it will be upon our lives.
▪ The person who walks in the genuine fear of the Lord need never fear going to Hell, he need never fear many of the things that beset the world around him.
▪ By his walk in the fear of the Lord, he brings the smile and the hedge of God into his life, Job 1:10.
Job 1:10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.

# 8 – It Brings Great Blessings

Prov 22:4, “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”
Psalm 25:14 ” The secret of the Lord is with those who fear [3373] Him, And He will show them His covenant.”
Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea 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.

Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear [3373] Him, and delivers them.”
▪ The person who chooses to walk in the fear of the Lord can rest assured that this decision will bring great blessings into his life.
▪ There will be spiritual riches beyond belief, (peace, joy, hope, security, the promises of God, the presence of God, etc.), there will be honor from the Lord, and there will be abundant life, John 10:10.
⁃ John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
▪ The fear of the Lord, produces the greatest possible life that any person can ever live. There is no better life upon this earth than a life lived in the will of the Lord!
Scriptures to show that the “fear” which is reverence for the LORD is not only due Him, it is to our benefit.
Psalm 112:1-3 “Blessed is the man who fears [3372] the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house,And his righteousness endures forever.”
Psalm 33:18 ” Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear [3373] Him, On those who hope in His mercy,”
Psalm 103:17 ” But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear [3373] Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,”
Proverbs 14:27 ” The fear [3374] of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.
These are some scriptures to show when we have full submission to the LORD, we do not need to fear or be afraid of anyone or anything:
Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear [3372]? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
Isaiah 43:1 ” But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear [3372] not, for I have redeemed you; I have called
you by your name; You are Mine.”
These are some scripture that show the consequence of not fearing/respecting the LORD:
Proverbs 1:28-30 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke.”
Jeremiah 2:19 ” Your own wickedness will correct you, And your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God, And the fear of Me is not in you,” Says the Lord God of hosts.”
Jeremiah 5:21-23 “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not. Do you not fear me? declares the LORD. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it. But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away.”
Hosea 3:5 ” Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.”
Psalms 34:9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. Matthew 10:28 (Jesus speaking) 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
▪ New Scofield Reference Edition Bible, 1967. The reference is not to Satan, as many suppose, but to God who alone has power to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
What does it mean to fear God?
JoHannah Reardon
February 19, 2013
▪ The subject becomes even more mysterious when we read something like 1 John 4:18 that says that “perfect love expels all fear.” So how do we marry this dichotomy? How can we fear God while he expels all fear?
▪ Scripture is full of examples of how fearing God is a positive rather than a negative thing.
⁃ For example in Genesis 42:18, Joseph wins his brothers’ trust when he declares he is a God-fearing man.
⁃ It was because the midwives feared God that they obeyed him instead of
the authorities by sparing the Hebrew babies (Exodus 1:17).
⁃ Pharaoh brought disaster on his nation because he did not fear God
(Exodus 9:29-31).
⁃ Moses chose leaders to help him on the basis that they feared God and
wouldn’t take bribes (Exodus 18:21) and told the Hebrews that God met with them in a terrifying display of his power so that they wouldn’t sin (Exodus 20:20).
⁃ The Mosaic Law cites fear of God as a reason to treat the disabled and elderly well (Leviticus 19:14, 32).
⁃ And lest you think this is only an Old Testament idea, note that Jesus states this stronger than anyone when he says, “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
⁃ And Paul says to work toward complete holiness because we fear God (2 Corinthians 7:1).
So it’s clear from these passages, that fearing God is good because it saves us from caving into our own sinful nature. That’s why hearing someone is God-fearing actually makes us trust that person more. If they fear God, they are more likely to keep their word and treat others with kindness. In fact, Romans 3, a classic chapter on sin, says that our chief sin is that we “have no fear of God at all” (Romans 3:18).
So how does fear of God, who is perfect love, take away fear? William D. Eisenhower puts it this way in his article ‘Fearing God” in Christianity Today:
Unfortunately, many of us presume that the world is the ultimate threat and that God’s function is to offset it. How different this is from the biblical position that God is far scarier than the world …. When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for in truth, the world’s threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce him to the world’s equal …. As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me from my delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets me free. He casts me down, only to lift me up again. He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion.
And, of course, the ultimate example of fear and perfect love working together is Jesus Christ. He warned us at every turn to fear God, not men—and he confirmed that in everything about his life and death. He spoke lovingly but frankly to all and didn’t mince words when people needed to face their sin and repent. But he also demonstrated love beyond human understanding when he lived out his words, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13).” With love like that, what is left to fear but God?

JoHannah Reardon is a former managing editor of She blogs at and is the author of seven fictional books and a family devotional guide.
Special thanks to:
• Missy Heard
• Rev. Mark Dooley
• Christian Utara

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