Sabbath Inspiration: Fear of the Lord – What Does It Mean?

25 Aug

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; (Proverbs 8:13)

One biblical phrase that has troubled many people is the command to fear God. What does fear of the Lord mean, and why does God ask us to fear Him?

Fear of the LORDCurrently I have more than 10,000 subscribers in my email list and value each person who is part of this. There are many times when I don’t feel like investing several hours of time preparing my weekly messages, yet most weeks I do it because of the tremendous opportunity to change lives.

Several months ago, I changed the name of my weekly devotional from “Sunday Inspiration” to “Sabbath Inspiration”, desiring to honor the LORD’s Day and come into synch with God’s calendar.

Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Knowing that the true Sabbath goes from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown, my intention was to send my weekly message early on Saturday morning. However, because I did not prepare my messages far enough in advance and allowed the Soaring webinars on Thursdays afternoons to distract me, I failed to achieve my goal.

Fortunately, two of my followers who respect the true Sabbath challenged me about sending my “Sabbath Inspiration” on Sundays and calling it that.

On Tuesday morning August 25, God woke me up early to journal and commune with Him. As I was typing inspired thoughts, I wrote “Sabbath Inspiration: Fear of the Lord”, knowing this was to be the title for my upcoming Sabbath Inspiration. I heard clearly in my spirit “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil”.

I immediately began to research to prepare my Sabbath Inspiration for August 29 early. The first thing I did was search the Bible for scriptures containing “fear of the LORD”. Here are a few that stood out:

2 Chronicles 17:3-5, 9-10 – Now the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David; he did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel. 5 Therefore the LORD established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah gave presents to Jehoshaphat, and he had riches and honor in abundance. 9 So they taught in Judah, and had the Book of the Law of the LORD with them; they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught the people. 10 And the fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 14:26-27 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.

Proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.

Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His 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;

Acts 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Acts 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

I then did a Google search using “fear of the LORD” and came across a good article titled “Fear of the Lord: What Does It Mean?“. Here are some things that stood out for me from that article:

One biblical phrase that has troubled many people is the command to fear God. What does fear of the Lord mean, and why does God ask us to fear Him?

A healthy fear of God includes the fear of the consequences of disobedience. There may be times of temptation or trial when we may forget some of the better reasons for obeying God, and that is when we had better think of the consequences (Exodus 20:20).

Reverence of God helps us to take Him and His beneficial laws seriously. Being in harmony with the spiritual laws that govern the universe has astounding benefits. Many of these come in this life, but the greatest benefits will be experienced in the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8; Psalm 16:11).

Eternal benefits of the fear of the Lord
So, rather than a paralyzing terror, the positive fear of the Lord taught in the Bible is a key element in change. It helps us have a proper, humble perspective of ourselves in relation to our awesome God; it helps us in times of temptation when we need to remember the serious consequences of disobeying God; and it motivates us to become more like our loving Creator.

By doing these things, the fear of the Lord helps bring eternal benefits:

  • “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:17-18).
  • The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27).
  • The fear of the LORD leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23).

Then I heard in my spirit to look for a good YouTube video about “fear of the LORD”. As I was typing in “fear of the LORD”, I was immediately led to a video titled “John Bevere – The Fear Of The Lord”. That immediately jumped out at me because just the night before, Cheryl-Ann Needham mentioned a book by John Bevere while sharing her big dream with The Dream Summit members.

The video with John Bevere immediately grabbed my attention because John said this message about “Fear of the LORD” was his signature message, the one he is most passionate about.

Here are my notes from watching John’s video about Fear of the LORD

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

You, not God, are the one that determines the level of your relationship with Him. You are the one who determines how close you will be God. God is more passionate about being close to you than you are to Him. God yearns for you intensely and consistently.

If God yearns for us, then why don’t more people experience intimacy with Him. It’s because people don’t reverence Him.

Psalm 89-7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.Leviticus 10:3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.'” So Aaron held his peace.

You will serve who you fear. If you fear God, you will serve Him. If you fear man, you will serve him.

What is fear of the LORD? It is not to be scared of God. You cannot have an intimate relationship with someone you are afraid of.

Exodus 20:20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.”

The person who is scared of God has something to hide. The person who fears God

Fear of the LORD means to be terrified to be away from Him.

When fear God, we venerate Him. That means we honor, respect, revere, and stand in awe of Him more than anything else in the universe. When we do that, we will love what He loves and hate what He hates. What is important to Him becomes important to us. What is not important to Him, is not so important to us.

God, why isn’t there are a stronger anointing on my life? A: Because you tolerate sin. Learn to hate sin the way I hate sin.

When we fear God, we tremble at His presence and at His Word.

When you tremble at God’s Word:
1) You will obey God instantly
2) You will obey God even when it doesn’t make sense
3) You will obey Him even if it hurts.
4) You will obey God even if you don’t see the benefit.
5) You will obey Him until completion.

Psalm 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.

Who do you share your secrets with? Not just anybody, but rather with intimate close friends. Friendship with the LORD is reserved with those who fear Him.

There were two men in the Old Testament – Abraham and Moses – who were called friends of God in the Old Testament.

John 15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

I have a new concept of leadership. I will not share the secrets of my heart with any employee until they are very established in who they are and very established in who I am.

Blessings to have a healthy fear of the LORD!

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