Walking in The Fear of the Lord

by Mamdouh Riad on November 8, 2022


Walking in The Fear of the Lord
By Mamdouh Riad


"The fear of the Lord is the fountain of life..."
(Proverbs 14:27)

The fear of the Lord is one of the central themes in the Scriptures,throughout the Old and New Testaments.

Walking in the fear of the Lord or not determines our choices in every aspect of our lives:The way we walk before the Lord, how we deal with others, how we lead, how we submit to authority, and how we respond to temptation and persecution.

It has been defined by some as a “reverential awe” of God. An analogy to bring the idea of relating to God in reverential awe close to us, would be like a son or a daughter who has a lot of love and respect for their earthly father. They don't want to disappoint him, they want to bring honor and pleasure to him by the choices they make and the way they live their lives. They do so not to earn his love, but to express their love and resepect to him. However, that's only part of the fear of the Lord or reverential awe. There is more to the awe or reverence of God than that of an earthly father. God is the alpha and omega, the begining and the end, creater of all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, maker and sustainer of the universe. He is omnipotent, ominiscient, worthy of all honor, all, glory, all worship, wholehearted love and obedience. 
In the Scriptures, those who encountered Him responded in sheer awe of who He is, and sometimes they fell on their faces, like John did in the book of Revelation:

“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.” (Revelation 1:17)

Isaiah responded in a similar way:

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple…. So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips,And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;For my eyes have seen the King..” (Isaiah 6:1,5)

The fear of the Lord is a natural response to knowing who He is, His majesty, power and glory:

“Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro,yet they cannot prevail;Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.” (Jeremiah 5:22)

The Scriptures teach us that the fear of the Lord is the fountain of life:

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)

It is the beginning of wisdom:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Psalm 111:10)

And that those who walk in it are friends of God:

“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” (Psalm 25:4)

The Scriptures commands us to walk in the fear of the Lord:

“And now Israel, what does the Lord God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him…” (Deut 10:12)

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.
(Eccelesiastes 12:13)

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”  (2 Corinthians 7:1)

“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”  (1 Peter 2:17)

“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”” (Rev 14:6,7)

To walk in the fear of the Lord is to honor God and walk in His ways, and to not walk in the fear of the Lord is to not honor Him:

“He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him..” (Proverbs 14:2)

Job was an upright and blameless man, because he feared God and shunned evil: 

“That man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil..” (Job 1:1)

The fear of the Lord motivates us to walk in obedience to Him and to depart from rebellion and sin:

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” (Proverbs 8:14)

“By the fear of the Lord one departs from evil…” (Proverbs 16:6)

“For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Genesis 22:12)

In the book of Exodus, the Hebrew midwives refused to obey Pharaoh's command to kill the male children of the Israelites, because they feared God:

“But the midwives feared God and did not do as the King of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.” (Exodus 1:17)

God was pleased with their choices and rewarded them:

“And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.” (Exodus 1:21)

Similarly, Obadiah’s fear of the Lord was greater than his fear of man, so He protected God's prophets, against the orders of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel:

“Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly.  For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.” (1 Kings 18:3,4)

God takes notice of those who fear Him:

“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them…”  (Malachi 3:16)

God took notice of the way a Roman centurion named Cornelius lived his life before Him:

“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,  a devout man and one who feared God with all his household.”   (Acts 10:2)

He trusts them with significant assignments in His Kingdom, and rewards them: 

God spoke to Cornelius and gave him an assignment:

“Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.  He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do..” (Acts 10:5,6)

His household was the first gentile household to hear the gospel and get saved:

"The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.”"
(Acts 10:22)

What took place at Cornelius house was a historic event in the New Testament:

"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.."
(Acts 10:44,45)

The fear of the Lord governs the way we lead:

Nehemiah governed the people differently than his predecessors because he feared the Lord:

“But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God.” (Nehemiah 5:15)

King Jehosaphat instruced the judges that he appointed to rule in the fear of the Lord:

“He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict.   Now therefore, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.” (2 Chronicle 19:8,9)

The fear of Lord strengthened King Hezekiah at the time Assyria threatened Israel. Isaiah described the fear of the Lord as Hezekiah’s treasure at that time: 

“And the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord is His treasure..”  (Isaiah 33:6)

The fear of the Lord cause us to walk in humility and not in pride:

Submitting to one another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5:21)

The fear of the Lord is associated with friendship with God, and His blessing:

“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” (Psalm 25:4)

“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26)

“The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction..” (Proverbs 19:23)

“Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses..” (Psalm 25:12)

“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments.” (Psalm 112:1)

“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.” (Psalm 128:1)

“Yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.” (Ecclesiastes 8:12,13)

In contrast, the absence of the fear of the Lord is associated with wickedness, rebellion against God, feet that run to evil, and has dire consequences:

“And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife.” (Genesis 20:11)

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt,  how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.” (Deut 25:17.18)

“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies.” (Proverbs 1:29)

“An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked:There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; He sets himself in a way that is not good; He does not abhor evil.” (Psalm 36: 1-4)

“Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:18)

The fear of the Lord makes us trustworthy before the Lord and before others:  

Moses chose men who fear God to help him lead Israel:

“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties and rulers of tens.”  (Exodus 18:21)

“The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.”
(2 Sam 23:3)

Nehemiah trusted Hanani because he feared the Lord:

“I gave charge of Jerusalem to my brother Hanani…for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many..”
(Nehemiah 7:2)

The fear of the Lord shapes our view and interpretation of circumstances. Walking in the fear of the Lord causes us to be aware of who He is, His  power and sovereignty, and not to be moved when we see the wicked prosper:

“So not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all day…” (Proverbs 23:17)

Are we walking and growing in the fear of the Lord as individuals? As churches? Is the fear of the Lord influencing the way we walk before Him, the way we deal with others? Is the fear of the Lord causing us to depart from sin and shun evil? Is it affecting the way we lead? Is it causing us to walk in humility and not in pride?

May the Lord give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in his knowledge, so we know Him in His majesty and His glory, and walk in fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom and the fountain of life.

May we walk like Jesus did:

“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.. (Isaiah 11:2.3)