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Fear the Lord

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Psalm 2

Authorized (King James) Version

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

With this Post, I want to give you as many Scripture passages as possible about the fear of the Lord to let the Scriptures speak for themselves. I will do this after I write my understanding of what God is talking about in the Bible when it says to fear the Lord.

My understanding is this:


God doesn't want us to be scared of Him. Scared to meet Him and running from Him and hiding from Him. But He wants us to fear His judgement. The fear of the Lord, is a literal fear to mess with God. Not just a respect for God. It's a literal fear. You're scared to disrespect the Lord and to sin against Him.

God wants people to shake with fear of Him like a tree shaking and dropping its leaves from a strong wind. God wants us to fear Him like this so that we listen to Him. That's what He wants, our obedience, because it's good for us.

Look at verse 11 above, "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling."

That's how you do it. Rejoice with trembling. Fear to disobey Him and rejoice for His goodness to you when you obey Him.

Here's another Scripture passage describing what it's like to have a healthy fear of the Lord. Serve God with a thankful heart and with holy fear and awe.

Hebrews 12:18-29

Living Bible

18 You have not had to stand face to face with terror, flaming fire, gloom, darkness, and a terrible storm as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai when God gave them his laws. 19 For there was an awesome trumpet blast and a voice with a message so terrible that the people begged God to stop speaking. 20 They staggered back under God’s command that if even an animal touched the mountain it must die. 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he shook with terrible fear. 22 But you have come right up into Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the gathering of countless happy angels; 23 and to the church, composed of all those registered in heaven; and to God who is Judge of all; and to the spirits of the redeemed in heaven, already made perfect; 24 and to Jesus himself, who has brought us his wonderful new agreement; and to the sprinkled blood, which graciously forgives instead of crying out for vengeance as the blood of Abel did. 25 So see to it that you obey him who is speaking to you. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, how terrible our danger if we refuse to listen to God who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When he spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but, “Next time,” he says, “I will not only shake the earth but the heavens too.” 27 By this he means that he will sift out everything without solid foundations so that only unshakable things will be left. 28 Since we have a Kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts and with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

God wants us to fear Him, but it is for our good. Those that fear the Lord, hope in His mercy!

Psalm 33:17-19

Living Bible

17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken:

but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

18 The Lord knoweth the days of the upright:

and their inheritance shall be for ever.

19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time:

and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

Job 28:28

Living Bible {Paraphrased}

28 And unto man {God} said,

Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;

and to depart from evil is understanding.

Ecclesiastes 12:13. 14

Living Bible

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Psalm 9:19, 20

Authorized (King James) Version

19 Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail:

let the heathen be judged in thy sight.

20 Put them in fear, O Lord:

that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

See this passage in the Living Bible Version

Psalm 9:19, 20

Living Bible

19 O Lord, arise and judge and punish the nations; don’t let them defy you! 20 Make them tremble in fear; put the nations in their place until at last they know they are but puny men.

Psalm 19:9

Authorized (King James) Version

9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever:

the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Psalm 25:11-13

Authorized (King James) Version

11 For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity;

for it is great.

12 What man is he that feareth the Lord?

him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

13 His soul shall dwell at ease;

and his seed shall inherit the earth.

See this passage in the Living Bible Version

Psalm 25:11-13

Living Bible

11 But Lord, my sins! How many they are. Oh, pardon them for the honor of your name. 12 Where is the man who fears the Lord? God will teach him how to choose the best. 13 He shall live within God’s circle of blessing, and his children shall inherit the earth.

Psalm 25:14

Authorized (King James) Version

14 The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him;

and he will shew them his covenant.

See this passage in the Living Bible Version

Psalm 25:14

Livng Bible

14 Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises.

Imagine that? When you temble in fear before the Lord, the reward is His Friendship!

Psalm 34

Authorized (King James) Version

1 I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. 10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. 14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. 20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. 22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Psalm 34

Living Bible

1 I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. 2 I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart. 3 Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name. 4 For I cried to him and he answered me! He freed me from all my fears. 5 Others too were radiant at what he did for them. Theirs was no downcast look of rejection! 6 This poor man cried to the Lord—and the Lord heard him and saved him out of his troubles. 7 For the Angel of the Lord guards and rescues all who reverence him. 8 Oh, put God to the test and see how kind he is! See for yourself the way his mercies shower down on all who trust in him. 9 If you belong to the Lord, reverence him; for everyone who does this has everything he needs. 10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those of us who reverence the Lord will never lack any good thing. 11 Sons and daughters, come and listen and let me teach you the importance of trusting and fearing the Lord. 12 Do you want a long, good life? 13 Then watch your tongue! Keep your lips from lying. 14 Turn from all known sin and spend your time in doing good. Try to live in peace with everyone; work hard at it. 15 For the eyes of the Lord are intently watching all who live good lives, and he gives attention when they cry to him. 16 But the Lord has made up his mind to wipe out even the memory of evil men from the earth. 17 Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to him for help and saves him out of all his troubles. 18 The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking; he rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins. 19 The good man does not escape all troubles—he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one. 20 Not one of his bones is broken. 21 Calamity will surely overtake the wicked; heavy penalties are meted out to those who hate the good. 22 But as for those who serve the Lord, he will redeem them; everyone who takes refuge in him will be freely pardoned.

Psalm 76:10-12

Authorized (King James) Version

10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee:

the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

11 Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God:

let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.

12 He shall cut off the spirit of princes:

he is terrible to the kings of the earth.

Psalm 76:10-12

Living Bible

10 Man’s futile wrath will bring you glory. You will use it as an ornament!

11 Fulfill all your vows that you have made to Jehovah your God. Let everyone bring him presents. He should be reverenced and feared, 12 for he cuts down princes and does awesome things to the kings of the earth.

Psalm 96:4

Authorized (King James) Version

4 For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised:

he is to be feared above all gods.

Psalm 96:4

Living Bible

4 For the Lord is great beyond description and greatly to be praised. Worship only him among the gods!

From Psalm 96:4, do you think that to fear God means to worship Him? That's what subverse B is saying. "He is to be feared above all gods", means, "worship only him among the gods".

This would be a good description of what it means to "rejoice with trembling" from Psalm 2. When we fear to sin against God and rejoice in His rewards for obedience, it means that we worship Him!

Let's read some more verses from Psalm 96 that are in context with verse 4

Psalm 96:5-10

Authorized (King James) Version

5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 7 Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.

8 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. 9 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

10 Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth:

the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved:

he shall judge the people righteously.

Psalm 96:5-10

Living Bible

5 For the gods of other nations are merely idols, but our God made the heavens! 6 Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty are in his Temple. 7 O nations of the world, confess that God alone is glorious and strong. 8 Give him the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come to worship him. 9 Worship the Lord with the beauty of holy lives. Let the earth tremble before him. 10 Tell the nations that Jehovah reigns! He rules the world. His power can never be overthrown. He will judge all nations fairly.

Psalm 103

Authorized (King James) Version 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. 17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; 18 to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. 19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. 20 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. 21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. 22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.

I'll continue tomorrow...

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