CHARACTERISTICS of the fear of the Lord. Continuing with a study of the fear of the Lord, let’s look at the characteristics of fearing God and their implications for our life.(1) The fear of God enables us to obey God—even in the most difficult times, as in Abraham’s test when he was asked to offer his son back to God as a sacrifice, “And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”” Genesis 22:12 According to the psalmist, fearing God is equivalent to delighting in and following His commands, “Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments” Psalms 112:1.
In Ecclesiastes, the true meaning of life is summarized in two brief imperatives: “Fear God, and keep His commandments”. These two imperatives bring wholeness and meaning to life. (2) The fear of the Lord causes us to say “no” to sin and to depart from evil. Moses said to the people, “God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that you sin not” (Exo 20:20). Anyone who is content to live a life of disobedience, wickedness and sin does so because “there is no fear of God before His eyes”. (3) The fear of the Lord manifests itself in a wholesome dread of God’s holy displeasure and wrath.
An important inference is that believers should teach their children to fear the Lord by training them to hate sin and love God’s righteous commands. (Deut 4:10; 6:1-9)(4) The fear of the Lord provides necessary perspective for God’s people to reverence and honor Him, and worship Him with our whole being. If we truly fear God, we will glorify Him as Lord. David equates the worshipping congregation with “them that fear Him as Lord” (Ps 22:23-25). At the end of history an angel who proclaims the eternal gospel calls to all on earth: “Fear God, and give glory to Him” (Rev 14:6-7). (5) The fear of God has a sanctifying effect on God’s people.
Just as there is a sanctifying effect in the truth of God’s Word, so there is a sanctifying effect in the fear of God. It causes us to discipline and restrain our tongues so that we are careful about what we say, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”” Matthew 12:36-37 It also protects us from the defilement of our consciences and the breakdown of moral resolve. The fear of the Lord is pure and cleansing, holy and redeeming in its effect. (6) The fear of the Lord causes us to serve God with sober single-mindedness that enables us by faith to enter into God’s promises (2 Cor 7:1; Heb 4:1, 11:7)
(7) Finally, the fear of the Lord is accompanied by assurance and unspeakable spiritual comfort, “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.” Acts 9:31 On the one hand, those who live without fearing God have no promise of His presence, favor and protection; on the other hand, those who fear God and obey Him experience spiritual security and the enabling grace and power of the Spirit. We can be sure that God will “deliver our soul from death”.
Fear is the great divider. Christ reveals to us what these last days would consist of, “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Luke 21:26 If you fear what’s going on in the world, fear man, fear a virus, fear pain or death; it reveals a lack of the fear of the Lord and ultimately faith in Him. The person who fears God need not fear anything else; but the person who does not fear God is vulnerable to fearing everything else. #runyourrace
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