[outline]

What It is

  • Yare’/Yir’ah (Old Testament Hebrew)
    • afraid, awesome, to fear, stand in awe, be dreadful, feared, terror, reverence
  • Phobeo/Phobos (New Testament Greek)
    • fear, afraid, fearing, to be afraid, to put to flight
  • the beginning of knowledge
    • Proverbs 1:7—The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
  • hatred of evil
    • Proverbs 8:13—The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
  • wisdom
    • Job 28:28—And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”
  • fountain of life
    • Proverbs 14:27—The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Why Should We

  • He can destroy our bodies and souls in hell.
    • Matthew 10:28—And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
  • It is our duty as humans.
    • Ecclesiastes 12:13—The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
  • we are commanded to
    • Psalms 33:8—Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
  • It is pure.
    • Psalms 19:9—The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.

What We Gain

  • strong confidence
    • Proverbs 14:26—In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.
  • refuge for our children
    • Proverbs 14:26—In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.
  • friendship with God
    • Psalms 25:14—The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
  • knowledge of His covenant
    • Psalms 25:14—The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
  • salvation
    • Philippians 2:12-13—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, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
  • life
    • Proverbs 19:23—The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
  • mercy
    • Luke 1:50—And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
  • turning away from evil
    • Proverbs 16:6—By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
    • Exodus 20:20—Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”
  • will have everything they need
    • Psalms 34:9—Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
  • God’s acceptance
    • Acts 10:35—But in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
  • blessings
    • Psalms 112:1—Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!
  • our desires
    • Psalms 145:19—He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.
  • answered prayer
    • Psalms 145:19—He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.
  • completion in holiness
    • II Corinthians 7:1—Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Questions

  • How can we fear God but not be afraid of Him?
    • Just like how we feared our parents only when they were punishing us while continuously loving them, we should approach God the same way.
  • How can we fear God if perfect love casts out fear?
    • We are to fear God’s punishment when we sin and give reverence to God, but we are not to be afraid of anything in this world.