Psalms and Proverbs; what does it mean to fear the Lord?

As we began the book of Proverbs in our last post, the foundational principle stated by Solomon was that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  What does it mean to fear the Lord.  The basic definition of the noun and verb “yarah”is reverence/respect and to fear/revere/be afraid.  As we relate to the God of the universe in and under His grace, this fear component is still a crucial part of that relationship.  Yarah is used in Psalms 5 times as a noun and 43 times as a verb.  In Proverbs it is used 14 times as noun and 2 times as a verb.  Its use can generally be divided into 2 parts; what it (fear) is and what it results in.  What is it?  It is clean, enduring forever, taught, the beginning of wisdom, inherited, commanded for relationship and a goal characteristic of relationship with God.  Whew, that’s a lot.  What it results in is equally impressive.  What does fear of the Lord result in?  Praise, knowledge, God keeping His eye on us, Angel of the Lord protecting us, no want, trust, abundance of truth, a willingness to listen, salvation, teachability, God’s loving kindness and compassion, food, witness, fellowship, joy and favored status from God.  This list is taken directly from the context of the verses noted above in Psalms and Proverbs where yarah is used.  Wow, what amazing promises.  How do we practically develop this proper fear of God in our lives.  One practical approach can be to acknowledge regularly His greatness and our smallness and our absolute dependence on His sovereign power in our lives.  This can help us to keep a healthy sense of fear.


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