Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2001
Subject: What to Fear
Dear Ethan & Emily:
Other than the subject of “obedience,” one of my best-loved Bible studies concerns that of “fearing the Lord.” To me, it means “reverential respect” and “adoration”…as well as a dose of good old-fashioned “fear” in light of who and what God is and represents.
There have been many times I have been tempted to do something I know is not right, and to be honest, it has been not only the desire to please the Lord…but probably more the “fear of consequences” and “fear of God’s judgment” that has prevented me from making a poor decision. This restraining effect is a good thing…as reflected in a statement found in Ps. 36: 1b: “…they have no fear of God to restrain them” and again in the New Testament referring to those who have chosen to live a sinful lifestyle: “They have no fear of God to restrain them.” Ro. 3: 18
As you know, as I have read through the Bible over the past three or four years (I’ve lost count), I have recorded notes in several small notebooks from passages and subjects that have special meaning for me. Let me share several of these concerning the “fear of the Lord”:
“It is better to have little with fear for the Lord than to have great treasure with turmoil.” Prov. 15: 16
Do you want to “please” God?
“…let us be thankful and please God by worshipping Him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12: 28 – 29
Want to experience God’s love?
“For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.” (Isn’t this just an unbelievably wonderful statement and thought?) Ps. 103: 11
“The Lord is like a Father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.” Ps. 103:13. “but the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear Him. (v. 17)
“But the Lord watches over those who fear Him, those who rely on His unfailing love.” Ps. 33: 18
Want God’s guidance?
“Those who follow the right path fear the Lord…” Prov. 14:2
And two great passages in Ps. 25: 12 – 14: “Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose…and: “Friendship with the Lord is reserved for those who fear Him.” (How awesome!)
Want protection and security?
“Those who fear the Lord are secure; He will be a place of refuge for their children. Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain…” Prov. 14: 26-27
“He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them.” Ps 145: 19
“Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe.” Isaiah 8: 13 – 14
“Those who fear the Lord are secure; He will be a place of refuge for their children. Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.” Prov 14: 26 – 27
Want things to go well for you?
“…if you will fear and worship the Lord and listen to His voice, and if you do not rebel against the Lord’s commands, and if you…follow the Lord your God, then all will be well.” (What more could we ask for?) 1 Sam 12: 14
Want happiness in life?
“Happy are those who fear the Lord.” Ps. 112: 1
Want to experience God’s blessings?
“He (the Lord) will bless those who fear the Lord, both great and small.” Ps. 115: 13
And what makes this study so fascinating is not only how “fear of the Lord” brings blessing, guidance, happiness, and protection but also how it is tied in with wisdom and knowledge: This is another study in itself, and you can find a wealth of material about what is true wisdom in the book of Proverbs which begins: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Prov. 9: 10
I hope this has whetted your appetite for more….
All my love,