Fear of the Lord. A phrase most of us are probably familiar with, but not many of us understand. We are taught that it is a gift of the Holy Spirit, one given to us at our baptism and perfected in our confirmation. But what is fear of the Lord, and what should it mean for us?
Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” We must recognize that God is true wisdom, and that He has complete control over our lives. He is all-powerful, all-knowing. We are not to put our trust in this earth and seek its wisdom, but ask God for His knowledge.
“Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 10:12). God wants us to surrender ourselves completely to His Plan and understand that He is in charge. He knows what is going to happen every second of every day, so why should we be upset if something happens that we didn’t plan? Shouldn’t we trust that God always works things out for the good?
And my favorite verses about fear of the Lord in the Old Testament,
“‘Do you not fear Me?’ declares the Lord.
‘Do you not tremble in My presence?
For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it.
Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.
‘But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
They have turned aside and departed.
‘They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who gives rain in its season,
Both the autumn rain and the spring rain,
Who keeps for us
The appointed weeks of the harvest.””
God has created everything. He is in control of everything. And how often do we forget His power? He gives us everything good. We should fear His power, His almighty strength. God supplies us with all of our needs. He takes care of the birds of the air (Matthew 6:26), so why wouldn’t He take care of us?
“…and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters”” (Revelation 14:7). Only God knows when the end of the world is. We should constantly be aware and be prepared that God could call us from this earth at any time. For me, that instills instant fear. God could end my life at any second, so I have to make sure my soul is ready to meet its Savior.
What will you do when the end of the world comes? Will you regret not fearing God’s power and strength? Or will you be confident in the salvation God has offered to each of us, and that you have worked towards during the time God has blessed you with on this earth?
It is up to each one of us to fear the Lord and let that affect how we live our day to day lives.