It Is Right To Fear The Lord

Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

Do you “Fear The Lord”?

Turn with me in your Bibles to Psalm 34

I think we live in a day where people fear lots of things. They fear:

Spiders & Snakes
Peer Pressure
Social Media banning
Coronavirus & The Delta VariantDiseases like Cancer
Getting OldPainBeing called a name, like “Bigot”,


But I don’t think people today have a “fear of the Lord”. Too many have heard verses over-preached like,

1 John 4:16 … we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

God does love us. But we also need to fear the Lord. Did you know that

  • The phrase “God is love” is found 2 times in the Scripture,
  • But the phrase “fear the Lord” is found 30 times? And,
  • The phrase “fear God” is found 10 times.
  • The phrase “fear of God” is found 8 times in the Scripture.

That’s – if you’re counting – 48 to 2. Solomon, the wisest leader the world ever knew, wrote:

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools (those who do not fear God) despise wisdom and instruction.

The humanist and the atheist believes that all people are basically good at heart. God’s Word tells us of the lost that:

Romans 3:10-18 … There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

The mark of the lost person is that they have no fear of God before their eyes. So, so you fear God? Do you have fear of the Lord? If you are saved, you should. You really should.

What Does It Mean To Fear The Lord? The word translated fear is in the Greek φόβος phóbos, {pronounced fob’-os}, and in the Hebrew רְאָה yirʼâh, {pronounced yir-aw’}. The words are defined as having “fear, dread, terror”.

When applied to God, “fear” refers to “an awe of, a reverence for, a deep and abiding respect, and yes, an understanding that God CAN and WILL punish.

Illustrate: Some unknown individual crawled underneath our Church van, and cut the catalytic converter out of the engine. They had no fear of God. God, to them, was imaginary, or a little old wizened man up in the sky. People commit crimes every day. They have no fear of God. People fall into sexual sin daily, contrary to God’s Biblical standard. They have no fear of God. People hate, carry grudges, seek vengeance. They have no fear of God.

It is the act of a fool to have no fear of God. It is God Who made all things that you see and that you do not see. It is God Who, despising sin, engineered the destruction of the entire world by water in Noah’s day. It is God Who causes nations to form, and to fall. When Adam sinned, it is God Who allowed the fall of all creation in accordance with His Word. It is God Who hates sin so much that the only way we could be brought back into union with Him is through the horrible crucifixion and death of the Son of God!

Fear Of The Lord Is The Beginning Of Blessing

In Psalm 34, we read the words of a man that was very blessed of God. This man was called David. The Bible tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart. The first King of Israel was Saul, a man who had no fear of God. Saul treated his call from God as if he deserved it. God called Saul to be King, to follow the leading of the Lord. Saul didn’t, so he lost his kingdom. The Prophet Samuel told King Saul,

1 Samuel 13:14 … now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.

Saul did not love God. Saul did not fear God. Saul did not do that which the Lord commanded. So God sent Samuel to the House of Jesse to find a replacement for Saul. God said (Acts 13:22) I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. David feared the Lord. David loved God, but feared displeasing Him. But fearing the Lord, David was blessed. David writes:

Psalm 34:1-2 I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

When we make ourselves bigger than we are, we do so because we do not fear God. We are and have what we have because GOD HAS GIVEN IT. The life you have, you have it by God’s grace. If you have a nice home, you have it because God allowed it. If you have beautiful children, you have it because God has allowed it.

Oh, that we would squash down that pride inside of ourselves, and fear the Lord. Oh, that we would HEAR the words we sing:

I am weak but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

THAT is fearing God. Realizing that HE IS GOD and I AM NOT. David feared the Lord. He stood in awe of Who God is. David did not want just what God could do – David wanted GOD. David realized what ever circumstance that God brought to his life, that it came according to the will of God. David said:

vs 1 I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

You fear the Lord when you PRAISE Him, even in the bad times. God allows ALL TIMES to come to us. Yes, God loves us. But God controls all things. If something happens in our lives, it is because GOD ALLOWED IT or GOD CAUSED IT. To fear the Lord is to PRAISE HIM even when you’re in a valley. The Apostle Paul said it this way:

Philippians 4:11-13 I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

When you have fear of the Lord, you seek His glory at all times – even when you are in the valley. There are no accidents, no coincidences. God controls all.

Pastor Marshall Segal of Desiring God Ministries notes:

The fear of God is a heart level embrace of the intensity of His holy and solemn authority over all. It is an admission that God is worthy of our admiration, devotion, reverence, and awe. It is a face-to-the-ground, trembling-in-the-soul, all-of-life-submission unto God – a heart that senses how small, sinful, and undeserving we are next to Him, and yet still dares, in Christ, to draw near to Him.”

Those who know the fear of the Lord acknowledge that God is big – but we are small. Though David was King of Israel – a choice assignment to be in – David knew that he was not there because he was better than others – but was King because God made him King. David writes:

Psalm 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

David controlled his emotions – his “little man”. Do you all know what I’m talking about when I speak of the “little man”? I have one. He pops up whenever someone says, “That was a good sermon, preacher”. That “little man” pops up, that fellow we call PRIDE. You cannot have fear of the Lord and have PRIDE. I have to constantly remind myself, “David, what you have, whatever you do, if it is good, it comes of the Lord!” It is fear of the Lord that says:

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Illustrate Do you remember Peter the Apostle, when he was shamed by a rooster? “Not me, Lord! Though everyone denies You, I will never deny You!” Jesus told Peter, “this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice”. Jesus knew. God always knows. That very night, Peter denied Jesus. When Peter heard the rooster crow, “he went out, and wept bitterly”. A changed Peter would later write:

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

What we have – what we hope to be – is all in the hands of our God. God is in control! We will praise Him, though all fall apart.

Fear Of The Lord Causes Burdens To Lift

Psalm 34:3, 5 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. 5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

Do you have fear of the Lord – or fear of people? David had fear of the Lord. He cared more for what God thought than He did what others thought.

Who are YOU trying to impress? God or man?
Who do you FEAR more?

Word Study David magnified the Lord. This is the word גָּדַלgâdal, {pronounced gaw-dal’} which means “to boast on, to enlarge, to make great or powerful, to make primary”. God is GREAT, He is MAGNIFICENT. David magnified by making himself small in God’s presence. When the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem, the city of David, the Bible says that King David was …

2 Samuel 6:16 … leaping and dancing before the Lord

so much so that his wife, Michal, despised David in her heart. She chewed David out when he got home, sarcastically saying:

2 Samuel 6:20 … How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

David responded simply to his wife:

2 Samuel 6:21-22 … It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord. 22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honor.

David put God before his own pride. He magnified the Lord, and was blessed because of it. As a Leader who loved God more than he loved himself, Israel followed his example and looked unto Him {unto God}, and were lightened. When you fear God, when you make much of God and little of all else, then you are lightened. Your burdens fall away. Read with me:

Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

What do we often do when bad stuff happens?

We WORRY about it.
We WORRY about it though God tells us not to worry.

Instead of worry, fear the Lord. Do what He says. Seek His face. What did Jesus say? Take NO THOUGHT for your life”. Minimize yourself. Maximize God. Fear the Lord, not the need. Jesus said:

Matthew 6:25-27 … Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Worry changes nothing. Do as David did. Seek the Lord. Humble yourself, and fear God. Pursue Him, and praise Him even in the midst of the trial. God has a purpose for what you are going through. Worry will not fix one thing. When we worry, we make a god of the trial. Instead, let God be God. David said:

Psalm 34:6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

We are NOT gods. We are in God’s image, but we are NOT Him. We are but poor. We are limited creatures. But God is not. He is limitless. God owns all things. God is over everything. God – not us but God – controls this Coronavirus. God allowed that person to cut out our catalytic converter. God allows the wicked to prosper. The Scripture says:

Proverbs 16:4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

The God we worship is “one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:6). When we make much of God and little of all else, then God hears, and like David, saved him out of all his troubles.

  • When Adam failed to fear the Lord, he brought misery on humanity.
  • When Lucifer failed to fear the Lord, he lost his job as General over all the angels of Heaven.
  • When Samson failed to fear the Lord, he ended up blind, weak, and strapped to a Philistine prison.
  • When Judas Iscariot failed to fear the Lord, he hung himself miserably, and his bowels gushed out.

Your troubles do not get less when you fail to fear the Lord. They get GREATER. They get worse. But when you fear the Lord, and make much of Him Who made us, and loves us, then David promises:

Psalm 34:7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

Word Study: Let’s break this verse down. The word translated “encampeth” is the Hebrew חָנָה chânâh, {pronounced khaw-naw’}, which means “to come down from a high place to where you are, to bend down so as to surround with an encampment or series of tents”.

When we humble ourselves and magnify God, God humbles Himself and comes to us.

Word Study: God puts a shield around those who fear him, and delivers that person from their enemies. We are to fear God more than we fear our earthly enemies. God is greater than anything or anyone who comes against us. He deliverethus from our enemies. The word translateddelivereth is the Hebrewחָלַץ châlats, {pronounced khaw-lats’}, which meansto rescue, or draw out of trouble.

Illustrate: Here is the picture God put in my mind. You are swimming in the ocean, and get a cramp. You start to go down. You struggle to the surface, grab a breath. You don’t worry about what others might think. You are no longer posturing for the crowd, or trying to impress some girl or boy. You yell out, “HELLLLP!” before you go under once more. Struggling to the top, the Lifeguard comes. He reaches down and grabs your arm. He draws you to the surface where you can breath. You don’t tell Him what to do, nor how to do it. You REST IN HIS ARMS. You rest in His arms.

The Church Needs To Return To Fearing The Lord

Psalm 34:8-9 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.

Many years ago Churches in America and around the world began to fear man more than they feared God. They began to compromise on the teachings of the Word of God in order to reach “bigger crowds”. The Way of Christ was never the way of the crowd. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14:

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (English Standard Version used for clarity).

David encourages us to Taste and see. You need to personally experience the fear of the Lord. You need to humble yourselves to Him, and make much of Jesus. Blessed is the man that trusteth in him. David speaks from experience. By trust in God, and making much of Him, David was allowed to defeat Goliath. It is by fear of the Lord that we are saved. It is by fear of the Lord that we are blessed. He said:

9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints:
for there is no want to them that fear him.

Do not fear man. Do not fear your circumstances that you are in. Fear the Lord. Trust in Him. Humble yourselves, as we are entering a cultural nightmare in America. Trust in Him. The early Church, with no more than 120 members, gathered in an upper room and prayed, making much of God. Because they feared the Lord more than they feared Rome or Israel, the Church was formed. The Bible says:

Acts 2:42-43 And {the Church} continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear {phobos} came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

Those who were saved had fear of the Lord. They did not fear the Romans nor the Jews, but God. As the Gospel went out, and God caused Saul to become Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, the Bible says:

Acts 9:29-31 And {Paul} spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. 30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. 31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear {Phobos} of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

As believers in Christ we are not to FEAR that which is going on around us – but we are to FEAR the Lord. It is the FEAR of the Lord that drives our efforts to tell others of Christ. The Apostle Paul said:

2 Corinthians 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror {phobos, fear} of the Lord, we persuade men…

It is the FEAR OF THE LORD that drives believers to work together in harmony. The Apostle said:

Ephesians 5:18-21 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Let us rightly fear the Lord Who gave Himself for us, It is He Who says,

Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands…

God has marked us on the palms of my hands. Jesus Christ was crucified for my salvation. He died to make payment for my sins. He is reminded daily in Heaven that I am His, and He is mine. I need not fear His abandoning of me – He will not leave the children He purchased at such a great price. Yet nonetheless I fear God, just as I feared my daddy when I was a child. Because daddy had power to punish. Our Heavenly Father, our Eternal God, watches us. He has the power to punish. He has the power to afflict, to paddle, to dissemble, to break us down. He has power to bless. Seek His face this very day.

May God the Holy Spirit and the Master’s Scripture touch every heart and mind this day. For His glory we ask this. 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!
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