The Fear Of The Lord

Photo by Bradley Dunn on Unsplash

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

What is “The Fear of the Lord?”

To hear many popular preachers and televangelists today, there is no such thing as “The Fear of the Lord”. Many have preached that we should have no fear of God, for “God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Salvation is promoted as a free gift of God (which it is). After salvation, many say that God has absolutely no standards to follow, nor any expectations of His people. To say that this is false is an understatement. It is in outright lie from the pit of hell.

Salvation is a free gift from God, but it is only received when you give God ALL of you. It is much like a surgery. You go to the surgeon to be cured by cutting. You agree that this surgeon has your trust. You lay down, surrendering to the anesthesia, trusting that he will do what is best for your life. You will only be saved if you fully cast yourself into his hands. Period.

So it is with salvation.

  • Jesus offered the “gift of God” to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:10), but commanded that she “go get her husband first” (John 4:16).
  • It is “by grace we are saved through faith, and not that of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). However, once saved “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to DO GOOD WORKS”. The gift is freely given, but those who receive the gift are commanded to work for the Giver.
  • Peter directs “as every person hath received the gift of God, minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). The gift is freely given, but once received is considered a stewardship from God.

The “cheap grace” preached in many Churches today is not the Grace that God shows in His Scripture. Thirty times in the Scripture we see the phrase “fear of the Lord”. The Prophet Job said:

Job 28:12, 23, 28 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? … 23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

And the Psalmist wrote:

Psalm 19:9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

And Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, declared:

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

To “fear the Lord” is to love Him, and to do as He says. To have respect for Him. God told Israel:

Leviticus 22:31 Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the Lord.

In the New Testament, Our Lord Jesus said:

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

To “fear the Lord” is to cherish His directives, to place Him above any other in your worship. Our Lord Jesus commanded that we fear the Lord. He said:

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.

Once more, our focal text states:

Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of WISDOM:

The “Fear of the Lord” is the beginning – not of KNOWLEDGE – but of WISDOM. Knowledge is raw data. Wisdom is the ability to put knowledge into action. Many people have the head knowledge as to the immensity of God. The Scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ day had a great deal of knowledge. However, they had no fear of God.

A person who fears God will treat God right, and treat those around them right.

A person who fears God will follow His commandments:

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The Apostle John put it this way:

1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

We Fear God When We Treat Him As God

Psalm 111:1-2 Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. 2 The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.

To many people God is but “the Big Man upstairs” that is acknowledged only when we have to. God is a spare tire, only pulled out when needed to get us going. Greg Morse, a pastor at Desiring God Ministries, notes:

We blaspheme God by depicting Him as a small planet orbiting us.”

God is not our Super-Servant. He is the Creator Who is worthy of all praise. He is the Bestower of Life, both eternal as well as temporal. When we fear God, we “praise Him with our whole heart”. We hold nothing back from Him, magnifying Him. We become like King David in 2 Samuel 6 when the Ark of God was returned to Jerusalem:

2 Samuel 6:14-16 David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.

David loved our God more than He loved anyone else. He loved God so much that He cared little for what others thought of Him. This is the fear of the Lord. Jesus tells us:

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

God expects our all in praise. He wants all of our hearts. God does not want our left overs, our minimum, our least. He gave all of Himself for our Salvation, and expects us to give all of ourselves to Him. We are called to be like the unnamed woman at the home of Simon the Leper:

Mark 14:3 {Jesus} being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as {our Lord} sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

Some in the group saw this intruding woman as a sinner. Others saw her as a person who wasted resources for no good reason. They murmured against her”. Yet her focus was not on the others in the room. Her focus was on her Jesus. She loved Him, and knew Him as both Savior and Lord. Jesus rebuked those who murmured against her, saying “Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on Me” (Mark 14:6).

The works of God are great. This earth, and all that is in it, is created of God. Our God created the universe in which our little planet floats.

Psalm 147:4 {God} telleth the number of the stars: He calleth them all by their names

As the Apostle Paul preached, “in God we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God is never far from any of us. He sees what we do daily. The Prophet Job said:

Job 34:21-22 {God’s} eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. {22} There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

We Fear God By Respecting Him As He Is

Psalm 111:3-5 His work is honorable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 5 He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.

When you fear God, you acknowledge that His Word is ever truthful. “His righteousness endureth forever”. What God has said is true, remains true to all generations. What God has said is false, is still false, though all the world declare it good. Jesus prayed for His Church:

John 17:17 Sanctify them, {dear Father}, through thy truth: Thy Word is truth

What God has established as true and normal has never ceased to be true and normal. The Psalmist said:

Psalms 19:7-9 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 for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

Psalms 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

It is through God’s precepts that we gain understanding (Psalm 119:104). We fear God when we “lay aside all filthiness and overflowing evil, receiving with humility the Word of God, which is able to save our souls” (James 1:21). It is the Gospel of God that saves us, and the Word of God that directs us. “We are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:17).

We respect God’s Word because we know God is always faithful to His Word. We do not twist the Word of God to suit ourselves. We both HEAR and DO what God tells us.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Jesus demanded that we both HEAR and DO what He said. The person who HEARS the Word of God and then does not DO what is said is called by Jesus “foolish” (Matthew 7:26).Jesus did not teach us options, nor opinions, but commandments. He said:

Matthew 7:24-25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

We who believe in God – if we fear Him – will DO what He says. God promises to bless those who do what He says, and God keeps His promises. Do you wish to have a long and blessed life? Solomon tells us:

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

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.

Sin in the life of the believer hardens the heart and shortens the life span. Sin robs us of our heritage, the abundant life that God wants us to have. The Psalmist declared:

Psalm 34:8-10 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. {9} O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. {10} The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

If you are a “saint” of God, saved by faith in Jesus Christ, then know that God will care for you as you Biblically fear Him. “Whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, and DO THE THINGS THAT ARE PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT (1 John 3:22-23). We know that God is faithful, and will protect and guide us. But we must fear the Lord!

All Things Work Together For Good
For Those Who Fear God

Psalm 111:6-9 He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. 7 The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. 8 They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

God saved Israel for a specific reason, and gave standards by which Israel was to operate. God saves us today in the same way. We are saved to walk with God, not against God. God is immense. God has a purpose for your life. If you’re saved by faith in Christ then everything – good and bad – is working together for your good. We don’talways understand what’s going on around us, but God does. We think that the world is out of control, but God is in control. God is either causing or allowing everything that happens to you and around you to make you – if you are a believer – into the image of His dear Son. Dear believer, you are predestinated – being made by God –

Romans 8:29 … to be conformed to the image of His Son

Let us live to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), trusting Him, fearing Him as children would fear a father. He will never leave nor forsake us. Let us not do so unto Him. Now, more than ever, God is calling on His Church to stand up and stand in Him. May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Spirit. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Psalms, Sermons Preached and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.