Pastor Bill Farrow
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Proverbs 1:7.
          From time to time we see a verse here in Proverbs that has become extremely familiar and edifying to God’s people.  This is one of those verses.  It begins with the concept of the “Fear of the Lord”.  This is a truth that is profoundly misunderstood by many.  In our own terms, it can very legitimately be called “godly fear”.  We ought to think through just what God intended by speaking of the idea in the Word of God, intending for His people to both understand it and implement it in their lives.
         First, we should see that this is NOT just respect or a high view of the Lord.  It is true, however, that the Bible is clear that God is the object and author of this “fear”.  Isaiah said that:

                                The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be 
                                   your fear, And let Him be your dread.
(Is 8:13)


         I’ve always been impressed by the extent and fulness with which Isaiah described just what the “Fear of the Lord” is for God’s children.  We are to “Hallow” God, that is to see to it that we recognize and see to it that God’s holy nature stays at the front in how we think of and deal with him.  This refers to our devotional relationship as well as our public speaking of Him to others.  We are to be sure that we do not treat Him as common.  Isaiah tells us that, in other words, we are to “fear” Him.  
         The language used is interesting.  Him you “shall” (or MUST) hallow, or regard and treat as holy.  Then we are to see to it that this holy view of Him colors ALL of our dealings in life.  We must both “fear” and “dread” Him.  Fear is a word commonly translated referring to the idea of terror.  In the human mind, it is a negative thing.  But here, in Biblical terms, it is translated into a positive thing.  It is inevitably ties the human idea of fear or terror with God and His holiness and Being.  God, it implies, is One which, in human terms WOULD inspire terror and awe.  
         Isaiah, we’ll note, preceded this idea concerning the truth of God’s holiness - he wants us to take right care that we, when interacting with or dealing with others keep His  holiness, His very nature at the forefront of all that we say  and do.  We know this to be a thing we “do” because we see Isaiah use the formation of the word “
let Him be…” concerning BOTH the idea of fearing God and our dread.  It is something we both are able to do and which we ought to do.
 


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