Scriptures contain over 390 verses that have to do with some sort of fear of the Lord. Obviously, it is an important subject to God. When we fear (have an awe, respect, or reverence of) the Lord, we can expect certain results that cause us to rejoice!
Our attitude toward evil is affected when we fear the Lord. We will develop a hatred of evil (morally objectionable behavior) (Prov 8:13) not only in others but in ourselves. It is easy to hate evil in others, but it takes humility to see our own evilness as just as bad. We will hate evil so we will turn away (leave a set course of direction) from it (Prov 3:7, 16:6). In the giving of the Ten Commandments, God wanted the people to fear Him and understand what evil practically looked like. God tested the people so they would fear Him in order that they would not sin (Exod 20:20). God desires us to turn away from evil.
Why would God want us to turn away from evil? I think God is all about relationships that bring Him glory and for our good. A relationship with God involves turning away more and more from evil. God wants us to fear Him so we will not turn away from Him (Jer 32:40). As we keep turning to Him, we will find what He hates and receive His enablement to walk away from evil in our own lives. God knows that fearing Him will be for our good always (Deut 6:24). When we fear God we keep His commandments, obey Him, serve Him, and hold fast (cling to) to Him (Deut 13:4). It is good for us to fear Him!
Also, we submit to “one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph 5:21). Submitting to one another would encourage us to walk away from the evil of pride in our hearts. I find I have a supercilious (to look or behave as I am superior) heart toward certain people. Especially, people that treat me in a supercilious way! God desires my heart to have no vestige (the smallest trace or quantity) of superciliousness in me in any relationship—no matter how they treat me.
A beautiful result for those who fear the Lord is that He takes pleasure in them (Psa 147:11). They are His treasured possession and are treated as His treasured possessions (Mal 3:16-17). It is wonderful to be on the side of the sovereign, good, powerful, and wise God!
On the other hand, those that do not fear the Lord will discover they are not remembered by the Lord and will not be spared in the end times (Mal 3:16-18). In the Old Testament, God warns that if the Israelites did not fear Him, He would bring on them and their offspring “extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sickness grievous and lasting” (Deut 28:58-59). Moreover, those that did not fear the Lord suffered grave consequences. For instance, Amalek was blotted out of memory (Deut 25:18-19) and God sent lions to destroy some people (2 Kings 17:25).
Contemplation of the fear of the Lord can lead to life changes. One life change for me came through thinking I feared the Lord as Abraham did who offered all to God; however, I realized I didn’t offer all to God joyfully. I was not serving with all my heart (1 Sam 12:24). The heart is the thinker, feeler, and chooser. I am joyless in some of my serving because fear of man. I often ask myself when I feel judged or disrespected, “Am I obeying you, Lord?” If I am obeying the Lord, I continue on; if not, I confess and receive His forgiveness. When I fear man, I choose to lose my joy. I want other’s approval. When I fear the Lord, I regain my joy. Also, “The fear of the Lord prolongs life” (Prov 10:27). Prolong means quality or quantity. The quality of my life is surely enhanced! Furthermore, “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life” (Prov 14:27). Life means healthiness, happiness, energy, vitality, and exuberance. God showed me that when I fear Him instead of man, I will regain my joy!
What results of fearing the Lord appeal to you? Why?
What results have you gleaned from fearing the Lord? Spend some time thanking God for those results in your life and rejoice!
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