Fear [of the LORD]


“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Psalm 19:9


I can only speak for myself, but the “fear of the Lord” has always been somewhat of a puzzle to me. Surely the Bible doesn’t mean fear as in the way we think of fear, right? It’s more comfortable to think of God as our friend. As our Lover. Our Savior. Our Comforter. Our Rock.

While He is all of those and more, the many verses in the Bible about fearing the Lord make me wonder if maybe I’ve missed out on an important aspect of my Creator.

Fear: “yir’ah”

“to fear, to reverence, fear, terror, fear [of God], respect, reverence, piety” (Strong’s concordance)

In Psalm 19:9, the verse above, when the Psalmist says, “The fear of the Lord is clean”, he means clean as in the opposite of unclean. You only have to read a little of the books of Law in the Old Testament to realize that unclean and clean was a BIG DEAL to the Lord and His people. There are so many verses about the fear of the Lord. It is…

  • wisdom (Prov. 9:10, 15:33, Psa 111:10)

  • knowledge (Prov. 1:7, 29, 2:5)

  • prolonging your days (Prov. 10:27, 14:27, 19:23)

  • a refuge; protection (Prov. 14:26, 19:23)

  • a strong confidence (Prov. 14:26)

  • a separation from evil (Prov. 16:6)

  • riches, honor, life (Prov. 22:4)

  • a treasure (Isaiah 33:6)

  • a hatred of evil (Prov. 8:13)

  • a delight (Isaiah 11:3)

I think one of the most surprising revelations to me during my study of the fear of the Lord was when I read Isaiah 11:3, “His [Jesus] delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness…”

Jesus, our example/role model/leader, delighted in fearing God! God the Son feared God the Father with reverence, terror, respect, and piety.

If Jesus delights in fearing God, shouldn’t we do the same?

I’m still figuring out what that looks like, but thanks to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, I have the tools I need to understand and to practice the fear of the Lord as I go about the daily walk of motherhood and marriage.

Written by Natalya Brown, Administrative Assistant at Strength & Song.