The Fear of the Lord

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

This key phrase, “the fear of the LORD” (Yahweh), occurs in a distinctive pattern in the Old Testament. There are 14 occurrences in the book of Proverbs and seven in the other books, or a total of three times seven altogether, both of which are important Bible numbers.

As we see from the verses in Job preceding our text, when God made man He told him that true wisdom is “the fear of the Lord” (Adonai—the only use of Adonai with this phrase). Unfortunately, Adam and Eve sought wisdom in the tree of knowledge instead (Genesis 3:6) and soon were hiding themselves in fear. The psalmist testifies: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). The final occurrence of the phrase is also in a wisdom context. “And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure” (Isaiah 33:6).

There are numerous other references to fearing God, and a survey of all these would quickly show that the fear of the Lord is far more than mere “reverential trust,” as some would define it. It means profound awe, intense awareness of God’s hatred of sin, as well as His omniscience and omnipresence, and living in light of the certainty of facing Him at His future judgment seat. It means unquestioning belief in God’s Word and in His unmerited gift of salvation.

But then it also means “the beginning of knowledge,” “to hate evil,” “prolongeth days,” “strong confidence,” “a fountain of life,” and “satisfied,” as well as attaining true “riches and honour” (Proverbs 1:7; 8:13; 10:27; 14:26; 14:27; 19:23; 22:4). “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever” (Psalm 19:9), and those who truly fear the Lord have everlasting life. HMM

The Latest
NEWS
Homo naledi Bones Not Ritually Buried
Since Lee Berger and his team announced their discovery of Homo naledi,1 they have been claiming that the bones found in the Dinaledi Chamber, South...

TESTIMONIALS
Marveling at His Work
Hello, I am Ruth Ann Wilhoit, the receptionist here at the Institute for Creation Research. Having formerly been an elementary Christian school teacher,...

NEWS
Bajau Diver Study: Example of Circular Reasoning
Bajau divers of the Central Sulawesi peninsula in Indonesia are able to hold their breath and dive to amazing depths of over 200 feet using only rock...

NEWS
Doolittle's Recycled Evolutionary Theory Is Old News
“What was old is new again” describes fashion cycles where young people today are wearing clothes and buying furniture styled after that...

TESTIMONIALS
“Experience” Answers to Your Questions
My name is Ernie Carrasco, and I work at the ICR School of Biblical Apologetics. I grew up believing that every word of the Bible is true. But in my...