A black and white photograph captures a solitary figure kneeling in a dimly lit room, their hands clasped in prayer, conveying the essence of the fear of the Lord through reverence and awe.

What Is The Fear Of The Lord In The Bible?

The fear of the Lord is an important concept in the Bible that refers to a reverence, awe and respect for God. It involves recognizing God’s power and authority over everything. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The fear of the Lord in the Bible means having a humble reverence for God, being in awe of His majesty and glory, obeying Him wholeheartedly, and avoiding evil.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the meaning of the fear of the Lord, look at key Bible verses about fearing God, understand the blessings of fearing Him, and how to develop the fear of the Lord in our lives today.

The Meaning of the Fear of the Lord

The “fear of the Lord” is a concept that appears throughout the Bible. At its core, it refers to an attitude of deep reverence, awe, and respect towards God. The fear of the Lord recognizes God’s infinite power, wisdom, and authority over all creation.

Deep Reverence and Awe

The fear of the Lord begins with an overwhelming sense of God’s greatness and glory. It is to perceive God as utterly supreme, perfect, and holy. This causes us to feel small, insignificant, and unworthy in comparison. As human beings, we are finite creatures. But God is infinite and eternal.

Naturally, this evokes awe, marvel, and wonder.

Recognition of God’s Power and Authority

Furthermore, the fear of the Lord means understanding that God is all-powerful. As the Almighty Creator, God has absolute authority to rule over everything He has made. Nothing escapes His sovereign control.

We must approach Him with immense respect because all life and existence depends on Him. He can do whatever He desires, whenever He desires. Therefore, we submit ourselves to His unmatched power and bow before His supreme authority.

Obedience and Submission to God

Consequently, the fear of the Lord results in obedience and submission. We obey God not out of terror, but profound reverence. Just as a dutiful soldier respects and follows orders from a superior officer, we comply with God’s commands because we recognize He knows best.

The fear of the Lord motivates us to align our thoughts, words, and actions with His will. We surrender our own selfish ambitions and agenda in order to please and honor Him.

Hatred of Evil

Finally, the fear of the Lord means hating what God hates. God is perfectly holy and righteous. Therefore, He despises all wickedness, deception, and corruption. As we grow in reverence of God, we will grow to detest sin as well.

The fear of the Lord makes us vigilant to avoid temptation and evil influences. We will flee from sinful desires because they offend the God we love and revere.

Key Bible Verses about Fearing God

The Bible has a lot to say about fearing God. Here are some key verses that discuss what it means to fear the Lord:

Proverbs 9:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This verse reminds us that fearing God leads to true wisdom and understanding. It is the foundation for living wisely.

Psalm 111:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.” This Psalm echoes that the starting point for wisdom is fearing God. It results in good understanding and brings praise to God.

Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Fearing the Lord starts us on the path to knowledge and wisdom. Those who do not fear God miss out on wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” This verse teaches that fearing God and obeying his commands should be the guiding duty of everyone’s life.

Deuteronomy 10:12

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Here, fearing God is linked with loving, obeying and serving him wholeheartedly.

It shapes all of life.

The Blessings of Fearing God

Wisdom and Knowledge

When one honors and respects God through obedience, God grants them expanded intellect, discernment, and understanding. As stated in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” Those who fear God are blessed with the ability to judge situations accurately and gain insight into circumstances with divine revelation.

According to a Barna study, 95% of Christians who said they feared God affirmed their wisdom had increased through obedience to God and His commandments.

God’s Favor and Protection

God shows favor and protection to those who fear Him above all else. Psalms 31:19 says, “How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you.” Fearing God leads to blessings of prosperity, security, and divine intervention.

An upright moral lifestyle also leads to better health – those who adhere to Biblical principles often experience lower rates of disease and illness. Additionally, honoring God protects believers from much of the folly and destruction that comes through sinful living.

Blessings for Future Generations

Not only does fearing God lead to personal blessings, but blessings for one’s descendants as well. Psalms 112:1-2 states, “Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands…their children will be mighty in the land.”

A righteous, God-fearing heritage sets up generations to come for success. According to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, children of parents who honor God and observe His commandments are more likely to absorb these traits themselves.

Additionally, God shows mercy to offspring of God-fearers, often for generations to come.

Developing the Fear of the Lord

Studying God’s Names and Attributes

Getting to know who God is helps us revere Him more deeply. As we study His names like Jehovah Jireh (“The Lord Will Provide”) and El Shaddai (“God Almighty”), we grasp more of His loving yet awesome character.

Meditating on verses about God’s attributes like His holiness, sovereignty, and wrath against sin creates a sobering awareness that He is not One to be trifled with (gotquestions.org). This is a vital first step in fearing the Lord.

Meditating on God’s Word

Consistent time in God’s Word builds intimacy with Him that makes you tremble before His greatness. As you soak in verses extolling the wonder of Christ’s sacrifice and the glories of Heaven, your heart becomes filled with awe.

You realize more fully who God is compared to fleeting mankind (desiringgod.org). Regular Scripture meditation keeps your walk with God robust and reverent.

Praying for Reverence

Asking God to instill awe of Him in you is essential for growing in reverence. As believers pray for the Spirit’s help to fear God deeply, He answers, granting more passion to honor His name. Remarkable revivals where multitudes stood in dread of the Lord began with praying saints.

For example, prayer groups pleading for holy trembling before God sparked the Great Awakening (todayintheword.org). Cry out to God – He will bless you with profound, liberating reverence.

Obeying God Wholeheartedly

Nothing fans the flames of reverence like immediate, wholesale obedience when God speaks. As we instantly follow His nudges to give generously or reconcile with someone, awe washes over us afresh. We realize in our nerve endings the rightness of hearkening to our Maker and the safety of resting in His will.

Stories abound of non-churchgoers finally attending when God seemed to audibly prompt it – and finding new trembling joy in fellowship with Him.


The fear of the Lord is a central theme in Scripture that honors God and leads to blessings in our lives. While the world may view fearing God as weakness, the Bible makes clear that the fear of the Lord is true wisdom and the beginning of knowledge.

As we stand in awe of God’s glory and humbly obey His Word, we can live in the fullness of His blessings and grow deeper in reverence of Him.

Similar Posts