As we talked about yesterday, the Lord is to be feared; however, fear should not leave us cowering to the point that we are not able to approach Him. Hebrews 4.16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We should be able to approach God boldly, confidently, cheerfully, courageously, freely, and fearlessly with all assurance that He desires to hear our petitions. God wants to fellowship with us. However, we cannot approach Him like many children do their parents today—hateful, full of spite, and disrespect. He is God. We are to bow humbly before Him, showing great respect, fear, and awe because of who He is. We should never demand anything from God. We can share our pains, needs, wants, desires, fears, questions, and concerns, but we do this from a heart that realizes His plan is perfect, He sees the bigger picture, He knows what is best for us, and what will give Him the most glory.
The fear of the Lord prohibits us from approaching God in a selfish, entitled manner. In Psalm 8.3-4 (ESV) David says, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” His fear of the Lord kept everything in perspective. He is God and Creator; we are the created.
For years I have read the Proverb of the day. These daily readings have shaped my understanding of the fear of the Lord. Here are a few verses that help us understand the benefits of fearing the Lord.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” (Pr. 1:7).
“The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil…” (Pr. 8:13).
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Pr. 9:10).
“The fear of the LORD prolongs life…” (Pr 10:27).
“In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life that one may turn away from the snares of death” (Pr. 14:26-27).
“Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it” (Pr. 15.16).
“The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” (Pr. 15:33).
“The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm” (Pr. 19:2).
Fear of the Lord brings knowledge, hatred of evil, wisdom, insight, prolongs life, confidence, is a fountain of life, is greater than treasure, and leads to a satisfied life. Things here may not always be easy; however, God is always faithful and one day will reward our faithfulness in fearing Him.
All Bible quotes taken from the English Standard Version