Fear of the Lord

fear_lord“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Proverbs 8:13

The Book of Proverbs gives us a good explanation of what the “fear of the Lord” is. Some people are confused when they read this verse in the Old Testament and then, in the New Testament they read this verse:

1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

To understand and reconcile these two verses, we must understand what it means to “fear the Lord.” The Hebrew word used here in Proverbs has the meaning of “reverencing the Lord.” It means to be reverent, with humility toward God, because we acknowledge His great power and authority. An example of this would be the same sort of reverence we should have toward our parents. We should respect what our parents say to us. If our father warns us of the danger of drinking or smoking, we will not go against what he tells us, if we respect his words. We will fear the consequences of what could happen to us should we become addicted to these drugs. This is a healthy fear that keeps us from harm. It is not a tormenting fear. If we have the fear or respect of God’s Words, we will not go against them. Instead, we will apply His Words to our lives. We will stay away from the things that the Bible warns us are dangerous to our souls.

In the New Testament, we read that “perfect love casteth out fear.” This means that if we really love God we will not disobey Him. Therefore, if we do not disobey the Word of God, we have nothing to fear. We would not want to do anything that God does not want us to do, if we love God and desire to please Him. This does not mean that we have to be perfect, as we all fail God at times. It does mean, that because of our love for God, we will strive to obey Him perfectly. If we do not have a good relationship with Jesus, we will not have the strength to resist sin and the devil will get by with tormenting us. If we do not bring our guilt to Jesus, we then will suffer torment. When we have accepted Jesus as our savior, though we may fail God and sin, the Lord has provided a way for us to be forgiven, cleansed from our sin, and restored into a right relationship with Him.

1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

According to this definition in Proverbs, the Bible definition of “the fear of the Lord” is to hate evil, pride, arrogance, the evil way and a froward (crooked or perverse) mouth. If we have the “fear of the Lord” we will not only hate these things, we will resist them, and ask the Lord to deliver us from being guilty of these sins. When we tolerate evil in our lives and speak evil things, we are declaring that we have no fear of God. In fact, we have fallen into the sin of pride and arrogance, because we think that God is simply overlooking our sin and our wrong attitudes, just because we may appear to get by with some things at the present. God is a merciful God and He gives all of us time to repent, so that our own sins do not produce the effects of the sowing and reaping process.

Galatians 6:7-8: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

If we have the “fear of the Lord,” we will turn from our sin and seek the Lord to help us overcome any weakness or evil thing that the devil wants us to indulge in. We will believe what the Bible tells us, and desire to walk in the truth. The Holy Spirit is present to help us overcome anything that the devil tries to bring to tempt and destroy us.


Dear Father in Heaven, I am thankful for Your love and patience toward me, to help me overcome the things in my life that are not pleasing to You. I realize that I cannot do this without the help of the Holy Spirit. I am calling on You to empower me to be that overcomer and help me to come to the place that I love You so much, that I will never want to hurt You by going my own way. I humbly ask You to remove all pride and rebellion from my heart. Cleanse me, and may I always have the “fear of the Lord” in my heart. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

betty-smallBy Betty Miller


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *