Monday, August 13, 2012

Are You Afraid of God?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom...”  Psalm 111:10.  There’s a similar verse found in Proverbs (1:7)  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge...”.  Job 28:28 says “The fear of the LORD is true wisdom...”.  

What does the 'fear of God' mean?  

Most people describe the word 'fear' as meaning 'reverence' in the bible.  Plainly, however, the word 'reverence' was not used.  The word 'fear' was.  I'm not saying that reverence isn't part of 'fear', but it seems that the 'reverence' camp would have me believe that being afraid has nothing to do with 'fear'.  
To quote Mr. Spock:  This seems most illogical.

The NLT translates the word 'beginning' in the above passages as 'foundation'.  I've read other teaching on this concept that promoted the idea that fearing God is the 'start' of wisdom.  But then, as you progress in spiritual maturity, you grow out of that fearful state.  There seems to be a correlation between this idea and the way we raise our kids.  When they're very young, they are required to mind us, regardless of whether or not they understand, and sometimes the lesson is applied with a small dose of pain.  I think there is a 'fear' of disobeying mom and dad in that situation.  However, as they grow older, there is less corporal punishment (hopefully) and more discussion about the whys of instruction.  Maturity.

1 John 4:18 says: Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. NLT  

So does that mean as justified Christians, we should have NO fear of God?

I'm just asking questions.  Tell me what you think.

Will:  This took about 20 minutes.  Now get going.


  1. I would add that NON-christians certainly have something to fear about God. His wrath. The old and new testament are clear that God has anger towards sin AND sinful people.

    I maintain that God isn't angry with the Christian due to Christ's atonement.

    Side-note: Does God's anger toward sinners mesh with His loving the whole world WHILE they were yet sinners? I guess He could have anger towards, and at the same time love, people.

    Was 'fear' of God mainly, or strictly, an OT situation, being prior to Christ's work on the cross?

  2. Also related: does getting a conversion through 'hell fire and damnation' techniques result in a genuine conversion via fear of hell? And if so, is fear the proper way to begin a relationship with God? Sounds like the Mafia.