Summary: Pleasing God and living for His glory should be the main duty of living.
THE FEAR OF THE LORD
(A Short message to the bretheren of the
Worldwide Church of God)
Bulawan, Prieto Diaz
October 27, 2006
The paradox of Christian life appears when we see the Christian in his pursuit of the highest and noblest goal of living. To save his life, the Christian must lose it! I ask you, what is then the man’s greatest duty or goal in life?
In presenting his summary of the whole duty of man, Solomon indicates he should fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13). An understanding of what it means to fear God proves to be helpful.
Proposition: Pleasing God and living for His glory should be the main duty of living.
Most of us think of fear in terms of abject terror, of running from God, of seeing him as a threat, but that is never the biblical meaning of the word.
The fear of the Lord is an attitude of respect toward God, which includes a healthy dread of displeasing Him. The fear of the Lord is about reverence toward God, respect for Him, love and appreciation, holding Him and His beloved Son in high esteem.
Fearing God is described as one of the greatest indications of wisdom
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” ( Job 28:28).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever!” (Psalm 111:10)
Job is saying that to fear God is not a fear of his wrath, and of eternal damnation, but an affection for God with reverence of him. The fear of God doesn’t comes naturally from us. This comes from the grace of God, and is a gift of it. No man is wise till he fears the Lord; and when that grace is put into him, he begins to be wise, for this is the beginning of wisdom.
Fear of the Lord includes all religious worship of him, inward and outward, private and public; and at this true wisdom begins; a man begins to be wise when he fears the Lord, and not till then.
When people fear God, they hate all which is evil.
“The fear of the lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13)
People of God who put reverence on Him; respect Him; loving Him, will hate evil:
evil thoughts, evil words, evil actions, evil company, evil worship, and evil doctrines. To fear God means to avoid every kind of evil (1Thes.5:22) He is the one who guard his thoughts (James 2:4).
A believer must have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with evil – not even the appearance of it.
Fearing God results in Holy living.
“The fear of the Lord is clean, endurance forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
The people will desire the truth of God, and by them more prized and valued, than all worldly riches and treasure; more than gold, and the best of gold.; sweeter also than honey, and the honeycomb.
"the dropping of the honeycombs" (h), which is the purest and sweetest of the honey; and what honey is to the natural taste of men, that is the Gospel, and the truths of it, to the spiritual taste of believers…” (John Gill)
Fear of God is described as being a fountain of Life (Proverbs 14:27) and a treasure which believers cherish (Proverbs 15:16; Isaiah 33:6). For such a man, though he has but little, which is the common portion of good men, yet he does not lack; be has enough, and is content; what he has he has with a blessing, and he enjoys it, and God in it.
A people who fear God is essential to the worship of the Lord (Psalm 5:7;89:7).
worshiping God in Christ, and to perform all acts of worship, as prayer, praise, hearing the word, offering sacrifice, &c. in the name and faith of Christ; looking towards him for the presentation of his services by him, and for the acceptance of them with God through him: and this with reverence and godly fear; with a fear influenced by the multitude of God’s mercy, grace, and goodness, in art humble modest manner, not trusting to, or depending upon, any service done by him.
It is also importance to recognize that there can be no proper service for the Lord unless He is held in reverence.
“Service the Lord with fear, with trembling…” (Psalm 2:11)
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” (Hebrew 12:28)