SCRIPTURE TEXT: “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil…” –Proverbs 8:13

We are taught over and over again in Scripture that because God is uniquely and awesomely holy – pure, separated, and shining in His moral majesty – we are to draw near to Him with godly reverence and fear.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Contemplation of His character, particularly His holiness, will lead to a reverential fear that prepares the soul for more profitable service and activity. But what does it mean to ‘fear’ God? There are times in the Bible when we are told to fear, and times when we are told not to fear. There is a fear that helps and a fear that hinders. How do we know the difference?

The fear that helps is the fear that expresses itself in reverence, veneration, awe, a sense of grandeur and Majesty of God. The fear that hinders is described for us in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” The Greek word ‘deilia’, which is translated ‘timidity’ in this verse, comes from a root that means ‘wretched, sorry, miserable’ and implies someone lacking in courage.

God is not to blame for attitudes of cowardice or timidity; they come from within our own hearts. Timid people are frightened people, and if you want to explore this thought still further ask yourself: What kind of things frighten me that are not related to the fear of God? If we fear them more than we fear God then we are being ruled by the wrong kind of fear.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *