Deuteronomy 10:12 – And now, Israel, 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.
There’s the Lord’s definition of fearing Him. It means to walk in His ways, to love Him, and to serve Him with all of your mind and heart and with your entire being. Deuteronomy 17:19 elaborates upon this a bit, indicating that “keeping all the words of the law and these statutes and doing them” reflects the fear of God.
Jesus calls this the “great (most important, principle) and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38, Amplified) Because God’s primary motivation is love (1 John 4:16), what does obedience to the command of God to fear Him establish in our lives?
– It prolongs our days (Deuteronomy 6:2, Proverbs 10:27)
– It gives us instructions in wisdom (Proverbs 15:33)
– It leads to life and resting satisfied (Proverbs 19:23)
– It brings riches and honor (Proverbs 22:4)
– It causes us to be safe and set on high (Proverbs 29:25)
– There is no want (Psalm 34:9)
– It blesses our children’s children (Psalm 103:17)
Hebrews 3:18-19 – “And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His Word and who refused to be compliant or to be persuaded]? So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest] because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out].
Fear of the Lord is keeping His commandments, seeking Him, loving Him – trusting in His goodness and faithfulness to His Word. Entering into His rest! The opposite is also true. If the Lord commands His people to tithe (Deuteronomy 14:22-23, Malachi 3:10) and we are not tithing – there is not fear of the Lord in that area of our lives. If He commands us to honor our marriage vows (Hebrews 13:4) and we are not living chaste and holy lives- there is not fear of the Lord in that area of our lives. If He commands us to raise up our children in the way that they should go (Proverbs 22:6) and we are more readily buying into worldly standards rather than heavenly standards in raising our children – there is not fear of the Lord in that area of our lives. If we are not seeking in His Word for His promises, His commands – if we are not intentionally growing in our knowledge and understanding of God – then there is not fear of the Lord in that area of our lives. Where there is slack in a particular area of your life in terms of obeying God, there will be lack.
Occasionally as a teacher I needed to deal with instances of cheating or plagiarism. The most significant message I needed to deliver to those students was, “You are basically saying that in that area of your life, at that moment of poor decision making – God does not exist.” That was the material point; that was what they needed to understand. We need to carefully examine our lives and choices, holding them under the scrutiny of God’s Word and expectations, living in the fear of God – there lies the way of peace and blessings.
God loves us! His requirement of fearing Him is only for our benefit.
God’s Word on the subject:
Deuteronomy 13:4 Proverbs 10:27, 15:33, 19:23, 22:4