“The Fear of the Lord”; It’s Real Meaning!

When I was a small child, my Mother always told me that she trusted me in all that I did.  Well, maybe not ALL things, but most things. I asked her, “Mom, why were you so trustful of me?”  Her answer always touched my heart, while she gave specific examples of my actions as a child, even after I became an adult.  “I could trust you because I loved you and you were so obedient.” I was a kid who was constantly looking for approval from everyone; peer groups,parents, neighbors, family, everyone. No one could love me like my mom and dad and my obedience manifested with their love and trust. Now there was a rebellious incident when I was 14 years old. Myself and two buddies decided to “ditch” school and we were caught by the truant officers. The Vice Principal asked all three of us what we did all day.  “We played poker on the breakfast kitchen table”.  His reply surprised us, “On such a nice sunny day, you should have gone fishing!” Funny now, but our rebellion then, wasn’t funny at all. We sat there with “fear” and “trembling”.

When I entered the dreaded teenage years, the love my parents showed me was still in place and so was their trust BUT… my obedience, not so much. REBELLION rose its ugly head. I was only semi-obedient growing older as my story at fourteen gave testimony too.  However, being “semi-obedient” is still disobedient. It was more from respect and fear of the consequences that motivated me rather than their love. After I got married to Dianne and we started raising our family together, we stressed the importance of obedience to our three children; always! What I didn’t stress was the real meaning or wisdom behind the words. It was always, “Be obedient because…I say so!”  As our children grew older, the idea of  exercising obedience became A.W.O.L. (absent without leave).  Rebellion took its place and our trust was missing also. Now don’t think we raised together three disobedient, rebellious, under-achieving adults. All three children professed to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. They have turn out to be terrific adults!  Was their obedience out of fear of authority from mom and dad, or did it come from somewhere or somebody else? As the WORD detective, I decided to look into “The Fear of the Lord”; It’s Real Meaning!”  What does fear of the Lord really mean?

The 7-Fold Anointing

Isaiah 11:1-2  “AND THERE shall come forth a Shoot out of the stock of Jesse [David’s father], and a Branch out of his roots shall grow and bear fruit.  And 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 reverential and obedient fear of the Lord—“

1.  The Spirit of wisdom

2.  The Spirit of understanding.

3.  The Spirit of counsel

4.  The Spirit of might.

5.  The Spirit of knowledge.

6.  The Spirit of reverential fear.

7.  The Spirit of obedient fear.

JESUS is described as having been “anointed” with the Spirit of God as an indispensable prerequisite for His ministry (cf. Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38).  God has always communicated His power and authority for service in His Kingdom to His people through Holy Spirit, and He always will. We cannot serve our risen Saviour with power and might without the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit.

A definition of “Fear of the Lord”

1.  Deuteronomy 10:12  “…what does the Lord your God require of you but [reverently] to fear the Lord your God, [that is] to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with ALL your [mind and] heart and with your entire being.”

2.  Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, there isn’t anything else for us; it’s the “entire matter”.

“All has been heard; THE END OF THE MATTER is: FEAR GOD [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the WHOLE OF MAN [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.”

3.  Proverbs 8:13 says,  “The reverent fear and worshipful awe of the Lord [includes] the hatred of evil; pride, arrogance, the evil way, and perverted and twisted speech I hate.”

If we are to have the Fear of the Lord, we are to hate whatever God hates and Proverbs 8:13 plainly gives us a defining list.

4.  Psalms 111:10 definition:  “The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is…the beginning of Wisdom and skill [the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet]; a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do [the will of the Lord].  Their praise of Him endures forever.”

It’s the first step and level of your Godly Wisdom, your God-given skill. Without the Fear of the Lord, you will never understand God’s will for you in life. Frustration is a by-product of mis-understanding; you are without the fear of the Lord.Have we lost the reverential awe of who He is in our worship? Do we stay seated in our comfortable seats, with our espresso drink in hand, while singing, “I stand in awe of You”?

5.  Proverbs 1:7 definition:  “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is…the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; BUT fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline.”

Do you know anyone who can’t stand your godly Wisdom and instructions about fearing God? They say, “You are too religious. You’re always talking about Jesus.”  If you do, they are “fools” according to Proverbs. Your “understanding” comes into play in this situation.

6.  Proverbs 16:6 tells us,  “…iniquity is purged out of the heart, and by the reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord men depart from and avoid evil.”

7.  Deuteronomy 5:29 promises,  “Oh, that they had such a [mind and] heart in them always [reverently] to fear Me and keep all My commandments, that it might go well with them and with their children.”

God gives us a conditional promise in this verse as parents. If we always reverently fear and worship Him, with “ALL of our minds, hearts and entire being“, it will go well with us and our children. If I had only known about this truth before I was saved in 1972, would my parenting skills have been better?  How about your family right now?