What exactly is the Fear of the LORD?

Feb 6, 2012, 4:12 PM |

Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness.                        Joshua 24:14a

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. Psalm 19:9


This week, I kept running into passages of scripture talking about the fear of the Lord. Lately, I've been feeling that I don't have a true fear of the Lord as I ought to, so I thought this study would help me and hopefully educate you as well.

There are a lot of passages that talk about the fear of the Lord, fearing God or fearing the Lord, so there will be a lot of scripture in this letter. Enjoy as we dig deep into the character and mysteries of God!

Fear = reverence, terror, or dread, normally translated simply fear. It can also mean respect, reverence or honor. 

Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. 1 Samuel 12:24

The definition of revere is: to regard as worthy of great honor. God truly is worthy of our honor, praise and reverence. Notice how the word revere is in the same verse as fear the LORD. They walk hand in hand.


The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. Ps 25:14

Based on this verse, fearing the LORD has benefits for us as well as for God. God gets the glory due Him and we get to understand what God's law is so we can follow it.


Who, then, are those who fear the LORD? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose. Psalm 25:12

See, if we fear the LORD, He will guide us. He will help us as we choose to walk on the straight and narrow path. We should choose that way. If we do not, then we have no one to blame except ourselves for straying since we know how we ought to act and live according to the law of God.


You who fear the LORD, praise him! Psalm 22:23a


I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:There is no fear of God before their eyes. Psalm 36:1

Here is our warning. With wisdom and instruction also comes a warning.


But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Psalm 33:8

This is good reminder for me. When I read it, it helps me grasp how to have the fear of the LORD. It's pretty simple actually, but it's hard for us because we're sinners. We are proud and we don't want to acknowledge the power of God and how we owe Him our honor and fear because He is a just God.


This passage sums up how to describe God and His perfect ways.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desiredare they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11


This week, let us seek to wholeheartedly fear the LORD. You can write out some of these passages to remind you how you can honor Him by fearing Him. And remember, blessings come when we follow His commands.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:7