What does it mean to fear the Lord?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. The phrase is scattered throughout the whole Bible, but what does it mean? I’ve been wondering this for a while, but lately it’s been popping up in my conversations with others so it’s been on my mind.
So I thought I’d phrase the question to you.
What do you think fearing the Lord means? Does it mean we have to be afraid of God all the time that he might be angry with us and punish us for what we are doing? Does it mean that we should be afraid of how God might think about what we’re doing? Or does it mean that we should be afraid of what our life would be like if it wasn’t for God’s protection? Is it simply an issue of reverence, or is there more to the meaning of fearing the Lord? Can there be a different meaning for a believer and a nonbeliever?
Here are a few passages that stand out to me.
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Proverbs 9:10
“If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” Psalm 130:3-4
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5
So what so you think? How does one fear the LORD?