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  • Writer's pictureChristine Davis

How the Fear of the Lord Sets Us Free From Every Other Fear

What Does It Mean to Fear the Lord? Here Is A Simple Way to Understand It.

Have you ever noticed that the Bible admonishes us in two completely different ways when it comes to fear? "Fear the Lord" and "Fear not" seem to be contradictory statements, don’t they? Have you ever wondered how these two paradoxical commands go together? Aren’t these contradictory statements?


No. They are actually two sides of the same coin. That’s because the individual who has learned to have a healthy fear of the Lord has nothing else to fear. But how does this work? And what does it mean to “Fear the Lord”?


Let’s start at the beginning: God created a perfect world, and put the first humans, Adam and Eve, in a beautiful garden to tend it. His only stipulation was that they were not to eat the fruit from one specific tree. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve chose poorly. 


After breaking God’s only commandment, they felt shame for the very first time. When God came looking for them, Adam said, “I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10)


God had not yet made clothing for them, but being naked had never bothered Adam until now. So, what was he afraid of? He feared the consequences of his poor decision


Regrettably, Adam and Eve's fear led to their expulsion from their beautiful garden home. If only they had chosen to embrace a healthy fear of their creator from day one, how differently things could have turned out for them!


As we delve further into the Old Testament, we find God repeatedly urging his people to “Fear the Lord” and “Fear God.” In Psalm 34, the saints of God are instructed to “fear the Lord” (v.9) while simultaneously being told that the Lord is the one who delivers us from our fears (v.4). So, what is the correlation between these two distinct directives?


Verse 7 holds a key to this often misunderstood paradox in scripture: “The Angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. A proper fear of the Lord results in freedom from all other fears! But what does a proper fear of the Lord look like?


If you’ve ever gone camping, you know that a campfire is a wonderful thing. In addition to cooking your food, it provides warmth and light when the sun goes down, as well as a great spot to relax with your loved ones. However, that enjoyable fire can also be dangerous. Failure to properly fear the power of the fire can result in injury or death.


The fear of the Lord works in a similar way. God provides us with many blessings, but if we don’t take him seriously enough to honor his limitless power, humble ourselves beneath his fatherly hand, and submit our lives to his will, eventually, we will die apart from him. 


In Matthew 10:28-29 Jesus says, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” Then, in verse 31, he says, “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” 


Realizing the infinite worth we have to our Heavenly Father and how much he truly loves us should undoubtedly cause us to develop a healthy fear of him. When we do, everything else in this world seems small in comparison. We don’t have to fear the unknown, being harmed in any way, or what we may have to give up to follow him. Our love and trust toward God are only made stronger when we learn to properly fear him and when we give him his proper, exalted place in our lives. 


Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom put it this way, Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Do you know the Lord so intimately as to have a proper fear of him? Has your intimacy with God caused you to lay all other fears to rest?

How the Fear of the Lord Sets Us Free From Every Other Fear

How the Fear of the Lord Sets Us Free From Every Other Fear

1 comentario

05 jun

Great Thoughts!

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