We are told in Proverbs 1:7 that:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
What does it mean to fear the Lord?
Fearing the Lord means that we have a certain awe and respect for God, which arises from recognizing our place in the universe. No matter what psychology says, we are not the center that everything and everyone should revolve around. God is at the center because He is the Creator and subsequent owner of all creation. We are His.
When we recognize God’s power, glory, and creative genius, we should be driven to wonder, amazement, and a deep respect for God. Instead of worshipping self or creation, we should worship the Lord. Instead of trying to do things on our own, thinking we know best, we should seek the Lord and His Word because we know He knows best, and when we live according to His design things go well.
The Benefits of those who Fear the Lord
The Psalmist, building on the idea from Proverbs, enumerates the benefits of those who fear the Lord in Psalm 25.
(1) His guilt is pardoned, and he no longer has to fear the Lord’s wrath (11).
(2) He receives the Lord’s instruction, telling him how he should live (12).
(3) His soul is at ease. Worry, stress, and, at times, even the hardship of life are not present (13a).
(4) His children will inherit the land promised by the Lord because the father’s actions don’t result in discipline. By the hand of the Lord, He dwells securely in the land and his children are able to inherit that same land (13b).
(5) He will receive the counsel of a friend from the Lord (14a).
(6) God’s covenant faithfulness is made known to him (14b).
(7) He will be rescued from his enemies by the strong hand of the Lord (15).
Question for Reflection
- Do you fear the Lord?
- Do you recognize the benefits of fearing Him?