What does the phrase the fear of the Lord mean?

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The fear of the Lord is explained in the Bible “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). Wisdom comes from understanding the Holy and righteous nature of God. There is no form of mental training that can compare with the earnest study of God’s character. Without this knowledge we can’t truly reverence God. Those that fear God have a grateful attitude compounded with love and awe. These individuals have realized their own unworthiness and have found salvation in God’s gracious plan.

People should not be afraid of God for He has proved His love at the Cross “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). God’s love for sinners led Him to give all that He had for their salvation (Rom. 5:8). It is the essence of love to sacrifice self for others; selfishness is the antithesis of love. And love casts all negative fear away.

John exclaims, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us” (1 John 3:1). The supreme expression of divine love is the Father’s gift of His own Son, through whom it becomes possible for us to be “called the sons of God.” God’s love embraces all mankind, but directly benefits only those who respond to it (John 1:12). Therefore, none of the lost can accuse God of not loving them.

The believers have God’s promise that nothing can separate them from His love “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Further, the Lord said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

But, sadly, those that reject God’s love will have to experience the fear of God’s judgments and eternal death which is the natural result of sin “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31; Luke 12:5).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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