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The True Fear of God
See also Words For The Fear of God

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. (Psalm 33:8)

You, Yourself, are to be feared; and who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry? (Psalm 76:7)

I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

I. Fools Abound

Without the true fear of God, one is left knowing nothing (as in 1 Timothy 6:4), because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). A person does not even begin to have knowledge if they do not fear God, as it is written, "fools hate knowledge" (Proverbs 1:22). Without the true fear of God, a person is a fool, because the true fear of God is also the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10). A person does not even begin to have wisdom if they do not fear God, as it is written, "fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). The sad reality of all of this is, such is the miserable state of mankind. They are fools (Psalm 14:1-3).

There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:18)

This is why, "The hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live" (Ecclesiastes 9:3), because they do not fear God (Psalm 36:1).

II. False Fear

To make matters worse, "Christian" false teachers divert people away from the true fear of God, with the result that people continue to be fools, and this is horrible; because the legacy of fools will be eternal shame (i.e. hell, Proverbs 3:35; Jeremiah 23:40; Daniel 12:2). As there is nothing new under the Sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9), it is like the Israelites of old. As it is written,

Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish. (Isaiah 29:13-14)

The wisdom of the "wise" men has perished in our day. A graphic example of this is a book written by Randy Peterson and David New. The title reads, "How To Fear God Without Being Afraid Of Him" (Victor Books, copyright 1994). This title is downright stupid! It is like saying, "How To Love God Without Loving Him."

In this book, these authors write,

It's this message - "God will get you" - that runs repeatedly in the minds of many people in this world. They fear an abusive God, one who will punish them without warning for unspecified sins. A personal relationship with such a God would be dangerous, if it were possible at all. (p. 100)

Randy and David write as if God is not like this, but the truth is, He is! He will most certainly punish without warning for unspecified sins! Jesus warned of this in Luke 13.

There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:1-5)

Jesus points out in the two incidents mentioned that the people God killed were not worse than others. In other words, there were no terrible specific sins these people were guilty of. God just came along, without warning, and killed them (Deuteronomy 32:39), and Jesus warns the same is going to happen to you, if you don't repent.

Randy and David call this abusive. God calls it justice (Deuteronomy 32:4), as Paul wrote,

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7; see also Numbers 32:23)

People have sown sin (Romans 3:23), and they will reap death (Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8). God will make sure of it (Revelation 20:11-15).

If people did fear this "abusive God," as Randy and David claim, they would have a personal relationship with Him (Psalm 103:11-18; John 17:3). The problem is, they don't fear Him (Romans 3:18), and so they will forever know His wrath (as in Revelation 14:9-11).

Mr. Peterson's and Mr. New's deceit is a bit more obvious. But some are much more subtle than this.

Like John MacArthur, who says the right thing (Matthew 12:34), but then says the wrong thing, and by it brings destruction (2 Peter 2:1-3). MacArthur purports to teach a "holy terror" (The Love of God, p. 11; Successful Christian Parenting, p. 78), but his "holy terror" is not true holy terror, because in hypocrisy he also teaches "It is not referring to being afraid" (The MacArthur Study Bible, p. 1771). In his commentary regarding Matthew 10:28 he writes,

. . . this fear is not that of terror or fright, but of reverential awe and honor. (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew 8-15, copyright 1987; for more on MacArthur, see our report on MacArthur's Damning Doctrine)

This statement is insane (Ecclesiastes 9:3). Note Matthew 10:28, the verse MacArthur is commenting on:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

MacArthur says "not that of terror or fright" when considering "Him" who can "destroy both soul and body in hell"! That is much more terrifying and frightful than someone who can "kill the body but cannot kill the soul," and that could be a terrifying and frightful event! Yet, having "both soul and body" destroyed in hell, which means eternal torment (e.g. Revelation 14:11; 20:10), is eternally more terrifying and frightful! Simple faith in what Jesus said dictates that. Thus MacArthur reveals his unbelief in the word of God. MacArthur claims "this fear is not that of terror . . . ." His words are words of madness (Ecclesiastes 9:3) and empty (2 Peter 2:18).

III. Why Fear God?

Because our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29; see also Isaiah 33:14)!

Anyone who knows God, knows fear means fear (i.e. to be afraid), especially when it comes to the Almighty. Because, both in His severity (Psalm 90:11) and in His goodness (Jeremiah 33:9; Luke 5:26; 7:16), He is terrifying.

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36)

Be it good or evil (Isaiah 45:7 KJV), blessings or calamity (Lamentations 3:37-38 KJV), God is the creator of it all; and this is terrifying. As Job said,

He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him. Therefore I am terrified at His presence; when I consider this, I am afraid of Him. For God made my heart weak, and the Almighty terrifies me. (Job 23:13-16)

God has the power, right, and will (according to what He sees fit, Psalm 115:3) to destroy your life (as in Job 1 & 2) or bless it (as in Job 42:10; James 5:11), to save you from eternal torment (Hebrews 7:25), or to burn you in hell forever (e.g. Jude 7).

Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it. (Deuteronomy 10:14)

And,

Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth. (Psalm 135:6)

Bildad the Shuhite rightly said, "Dominion and fear belong to Him" (Job 25:1-2). It all belongs to Him (Psalm 24:1), every single soul belongs to Him (Ezekiel 18:4), and

He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. (Romans 9:18)

He creates vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath (Romans 9:21-23) and destines people to either eternal life or eternal torment completely apart from anything they may or may not do (Romans 9:11), but solely based upon His will (Romans 9:16, 18), His pleasure (Psalm 115:3; Ephesians 1:5).

There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. (James 4:12)

And this is the terrifying truth. So Psalm 130 says,

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. (Psalm 130:3-4)

Mercy is only found within the power and will of the Almighty.

Our God is the God of salvation, and to God the Lord belong escapes from death. (Psalm 68:20)

To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, (Daniel 9:9)

Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! (Revelation 19:1)

"Therefore men fear Him" (Job 37:24), because they know therein lies their only hope (Acts 4:12). For,

The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy. (Psalm 147:11; see also Luke 1:50; Acts 10:35)

But,

The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth, (Psalm 34:16)

and to destroy them forever in hell (Isaiah 66:24; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8). Thus, David wrote,

In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. (Psalm 5:7)

The song of the Lamb asks,

Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? (Revelation 15:4)

Only the fool (Proverbs 13:16; 14:16).

IV. True Fear Trembles

In Hosea 13:1 the Lord describes Ephraim as doing well when he "spoke, trembling," and so are we, if we are literally trembling before God. True Biblical fear demands trembling, because, in truth, God is so fearful it actually causes literal trembling before Him.

Daniel writes of King Nebuchadnezzar,

And because of the majesty that [God] gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. (Daniel 5:19)

The people in the days of King Nebuchadnezzar had the sense to rightly tremble and fear before a mighty king (Proverbs 24:21; Romans 13:7). As God does, Nebuchadnezzar did whatever he pleased, as a true king can (Ecclesiastes 8:1-2). Therefore, if the people of Daniel's day rightly and literally trembled and feared before an earthly king, a man in whose breath was in his nostrils (Isaiah 2:22), how much more should we tremble and fear before,

He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15; see also Psalm 103:19)?

God is the eternal King (Psalm 10:16; 29:10), who will execute whomever He wishes (Deuteronomy 32:39), keep alive whomever He wishes (1 Samuel 2:6), set up whomever He wishes (e.g. Job 12:23), and put down whomever He wishes (e.g. Luke 1:52).

Not only that, but as the King of all the earth works in His creation (Psalm 47:7), His work provokes fearful trembling before Him. Elihu, who knew the fear of God and trembled before Him, said,

Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; nor can the number of His years be discovered. For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy? Look, He scatters his light upon it, and covers the depths of the sea. For by these He judges the peoples; He gives food in abundance. He covers His hands with lightning, and commands it to strike. His thunder declares it, the cattle also, concerning the rising storm. At this also my heart trembles, and leaps from its place. (Job 36:26-37:1)

God is indeed great, and His works in creation are awesome.

He does great things which we cannot comprehend. (Job 37:5)

And this should cause fearful trembling before Him, as the King of glory (Psalm 24:7-10) Himself says,

"Do you not fear Me?" says the Lord. "Will you not tremble at My presence, who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it. But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; they have revolted and departed. They do not say in their heart, 'Let us now fear the Lord our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.' Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you." (Jeremiah 5:22-25)

The King of Israel (Isaiah 44:6) Himself appeals to His work in creation and calls the Israelites to note it and fear, but their "iniquities have turned these things away."

Jeremiah wrote,

Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord (You are great, and Your name is great in might), who would not fear You, O King of the nations? For this is Your rightful due. For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You. (Jeremiah 10:6-7)

There is none like the King of the Jews (Mark 15:2).

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. (Psalm 96:4-5; see also 1 Chronicles 16:25; Psalm 48:1)

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. (Psalm 145:3)

King Darius, after seeing God's awesome mercy towards Daniel (a Jew, Romans 2:28-29), made this decree:

I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. (Daniel 6:26-27)

Darius rightly decreed that men should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, because this is the same decree the King of the saints (Revelation 15:3) has made.

The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. (Isaiah 8:13)

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob. (Psalm 114:7; see also1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalm 96:9; 99:1; Joel 2:1; Ephesians 6:5; Philippians 2:12)

The Psalmist wrote this of the everlasting King (Jeremiah 10:10):

My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments. (Psalm 119:120)

This statement is made in the context of overwhelming love for God's word (e.g. Psalm 119:47-48, 97, 113, 119, 127, 159, 163-165, 167). Thus, it is made in the context of overwhelming love for God (Mark 12:30), since God and His word are one (John 1:1). Therefore, loving God and being afraid of Him are congruous.

Likewise, the fear of the Lord and the joy of the Lord, tremble together. As it is written,

Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Psalm 2:11)

In the true fear of God, fear and trembling and rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 4:4) are harmonious as well.

Finally, it is the godly who find it in their hearts (Psalm 65:4) to tremble before His word (e.g. Ezra 9:4; 10:3), as the Lord says,

But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word. (Isaiah 66:2, see also verse 5)

V. True Fear Turns

It is an abomination to fools to depart from evil. (Proverbs 13:19)

Therefore, those who claim to fear God, yet continue in their sin, are fools and liars (1 John 2:4), as it is written,

He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him. (Proverbs 14:2)

There is no way someone who fears God can continue in sin unrepentantly, because,

By the fear of the Lord one departs from evil. (Proverbs 16:6)

Those who fear God repent, and they love correction (Proverbs 12:1; 15:5); because they know it is the way of life (Proverbs 6:23).

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. (Proverbs 14:27)

The wicked, those who don't fear God (Romans 3:18) love death (Proverbs 8:36), hate correction (Proverbs 1:22; 12:1; 13:18; 15:10), and don't turn from their evil ways (e.g. Proverbs 1:30; Isaiah 9:13; Jeremiah 15:7; 36). The godly, those who tremble at His word, do (Psalm 141:5), because,

Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God. (Ecclesiastes 8:12-13)

There may indeed be wicked people who "fear the Lord" (e.g. 2 Kings 17:24-41), but the truth is, if they turn not from their evil deeds (Proverbs 16:6), it is evident they really don't fear Him (as in 2 Kings 17:34); but instead, they renounce Him. For God is in none of their thoughts (Psalm 10:3-4).

Moreover, there is indeed an ungodly fear seen in Scripture (e.g. Genesis 3:10; 18:15; Mark 11:18; Revelation 6:15-17). Any fear in this context, that is, in disobedience to God, is simply ungodly, and it is not true godly fear of God.

Demons are noted as those who tremble (James 2:19), and they rightly do so, for God is fearful; but of course, they have no hope of salvation (Matthew 8:29; Hebrews 2:16).

VI. True Fear Hates

A Biblical definition of the fear of the Lord is found in Proverbs 8:13.

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. (Proverbs 8:13)

Wisdom continues in Proverbs 8:13 stating that she hates pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the perverse mouth. She hates the actual mouth, which, of course, is connected to a body, a person.

The Lord declares,

These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

A proud look, a lying tongue, hands, a heart, and feet, are all parts of a human being, and God says here He hates them.

Evil people are evil. As God does not separate the parts of the body from these people, so God does not separate the sin from the sinner until He saves them. And so, Proverbs 6 continues and clearly declares that the Lord hates a false witness and one who sows discord. These are particular kinds of people the Lord hates.

Actually, God hates "all who do evil" (Psalm 5:5, NLT; see also Psalm 5:6; 11:5), and so do those who fear Him.

David, who feared God (2 Samuel 23:3/1 Kings 15:5), expressed this godly hate very clearly in Psalm 139.

Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. (Psalm 139:21-22; see also Psalm 26:5; 31:6; 119:113)

They are enemies indeed. Those who do not fear God hate those who do, but their hatred is ungodly and evil. They hate God (Romans 1:28, 30), and they hate His people. As it is written,

An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, and he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked. (Proverbs 29:27)

The hatred is mutual, but one is justified. The other is not.

VII. True Fear Is Confident

In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. (Proverbs 14:26; see also Psalm 112:7-8)

The true fear of God does not produce cowardice, but rather boldness, as Proverbs 28:1 says,

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Cowards go to hell (Revelation 21:8), but the righteous, i.e. those who fear God, are in no way cowards, but are rather bold as a lion. God fearing people are able to live out serious confidence even in the face of horrifying circumstances. As the fear of the Lord instructs,

My son, let them not depart from your eyes - keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught. (Proverbs 3:21-26)

Sleeping is a very vulnerable time. Someone could sneak upon you and kill you (as in Judges 4:21 or 2 Samuel 4:5-12). But those who fear God fear not. They have sweet sleep. They have peace (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6-7), and have confidence even in the face of sudden terror or trouble from the wicked. And, even if they fail in this, they turn back to it. As David wrote,

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4)

The answer? Nothing. Nothing that God Himself has not already decreed (Isaiah 46:10). For,

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:7)

So those who fear the Lord have great confidence (Proverbs 14:26), even in the face of the most important and most potentially horrifying time, that is, the eternal judgment of God. Those who fear God have great boldness (Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19). As 1 John 4:17-18 declares,

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Those who fear God believe in His mercy (Psalm 103:11-18). They believe in His forgiveness (John 3:16), and they know they have eternal life (1 John 5:13). They have boldness concerning "the day of judgment," because they do not fear condemnation (Romans 8:1). They do not fear torment. They look forward to their reward (Revelation 22:12-14), because they know God is; and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6; 9:27-28).

The fear cast out in 1 John 4:17-18 is the fear that involves torment (verse 18). It is the fear of condemnation. It is not the fear of God that is cast out. If it was, wisdom and knowledge would be cast out (Job 28:28)! No, it is actually the fear of God that casts out other fears, like the fear of man (Isaiah 8:11-13; Psalm 27:1; Proverbs 29:25), cowardice (2 Timothy 1:7), and the fear of death (Romans 8:15; Hebrews 2:14-15), which includes the fear of condemnation (the second death, Revelation 21:8).

Those who are afraid of God fear the one who "after He has killed, has the power to cast into hell" (Luke 12:4-5). Therefore, they conduct their time on this earth in fear (Romans 11:20-22; 1 Peter 1:17) being greatly motivated by this terror (2 Corinthians 5:11) to set their hope completely on the grace of God (1 Peter 1:13). They are diligent to enter His rest (Hebrews 4:11), because they know there is no other way to escape the wrath of the Almighty (John 3:36), except to fear Him and trust in His salvation (Psalm 119:166). For this is man's all, as it is written:

Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Job, a man who was terrified of God (Job 23:13-16), had this confidence that comes with the fear of God. He spoke of it in Job 19:25-27.

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Job longed for the day he would see God. He had no shame concerning that day, but rather great confidence, like David who wrote in Psalm 61,

I will abide in Your tabernacle forever. (Psalm 61:4)

This is the confidence of all who fear Him (Psalm 65:5). Since they fear Him (Luke 12:4-5), they need not fear, as Jesus says in Luke 12:6-7 (see also Matthew 10:29-31), because they "hope in His mercy" (Psalm 33:18; see also Exodus 20:18-20; 1 Samuel 12:20-25; Matthew 17:5-7). As Proverbs 1:33 says,

Whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.

VIII. True Fear Is Content

In this confidence that comes with the true fear of God, there is great satisfaction as well.

The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil. (Proverbs 19:23)

Years ago Mick Jagger sang, "I can't get no satisfaction." It was because he did not fear God (Romans 3:18). Many years ago King David feared God and he sang,

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)

David knew he would not lack. He knew he would abide in satisfaction, because he knew the Lord would never forsake Him (Hebrews 13:5).

Even though "the eyes of man are never satisfied" (Proverbs 27:20), those who fear the Lord find contentment in what little or much they have (Ephesians 5:5; Hebrews 13:5). They are satisfied with His goodness (Psalm 36:7-8; 37:19; 63:5; Proverbs 14:14), because they love the Lord and hate their possessions (Luke 14:33; 16:13).

IX. True Fear Is Wise

Since the fear of God is wisdom (Job 28:28), it is no wonder that those who fear God are taught by God, and therefore have the wisdom of God. Psalm 25 says,

Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. (Psalm 25:12)

Those who fear God have an anointing from the Lord (1 John 2:27) and receive special instruction from Him. As it is written:

The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. (Psalm 25:12-14)

X. True Fear Is The Word of God

In the context of the law of the Lord, the testimony of the Lord, the statutes of the Lord, the commandment of the Lord, and the judgments of the Lord, Psalm 19:9 has, the fear of the Lord. All of these are synonyms for the word of God (e.g. see Psalm 119), including "the fear of the Lord" (Psalm 19:9).

The fear of the Lord is not only the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10), it is wisdom (Job 28:28). Christ is wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30), and Christ is the word of God (John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13). Therefore, if Christ is wisdom and the word of God, so the fear of the Lord is wisdom and the word of God. Proverbs 15:33 says, "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom." That well describes the word of God as well, as Paul wrote,

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)

Also, Proverbs 13:13 says,

He who despises the word will be destroyed, but he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

Fearing the commandment and fearing God are one and the same.

XI. True Fear Is God Himself

If the fear of the Lord is indeed Scripture, the Word of God, the wisdom of God, and Christ, then the fear of the Lord is God Himself (John 1:1). Proverbs 2:5 well illustrates this.

Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

Understanding the fear of the Lord is finding the knowledge of God. In other words, the fear of the Lord is God.

XII. True Fear Lasts Forever

Some might argue that once someone comes to know the Lord, they no longer fear Him, but this would be a lie. Proverbs 23:17 says,

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day.

"All the day" dictates continually. As Proverbs 28:14 says, "How blessed is the man who fears always" (NAS). Also, the Psalmist in Psalm 119 writes,

Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You. (Psalm 119:38)

Fearing God is a way of life. It is not something that is initially done and then cast off (a perversion of 1 John 4:17-18), as Psalm 72 illustrates:

They shall fear You as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. (Psalm 72:5)

In the future, people will fear God (e.g. Psalm 67:7; 102:15; Isaiah 29:23; Hosea 11:10-11; Micah 7:17), and for all eternity people will fear the Lord, because,

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. (Psalm 19:9)

For more on God, see He Is Holy Gods, Jerusalem Is God, The Lord Is A Man, God Is Love, The Lord Kills, The Seven Spirits of God Are God, The Horses of Zechariah 1 Are God, The Three Men In Genesis 18 Are God, The Throne, Heaven, and the Kingdom Are God, God Is The Cause of Deception and Evil.

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