Benefits of Fearing the Lord

As we talked about Tuesday, 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

Proverbs 12

1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. 2 A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of evil devices he condemns. 3 No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved. 4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. 5 The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. 7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand. 8 A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised. 9 Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread. 10 Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. 11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. 12 Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit. 13 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble. 14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him. 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. 16 The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult. 17 Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit. 18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. 19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. 20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. 21 No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble. 22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight. 23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly. 24 The hand of the diligent will rule,    while the slothful will be put to forced labor. 25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. 26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. 27 Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth. 28 In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.