Fear of God


Beginning of Fear:

First man, Adam, was living among all types of animals without fear (Gen 2:19, 20). He was talking to the Lord God without fear. Fear was first experienced after the 1st falling, when Adam disobeyed God; so he was afraid to face Him and talk to Him, as he expressed this by saying, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Gen 3:8-10).  


What We Fear:

Death: (Ps 55:4, 5) “My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.”

Enemy: (Jer 9:25) “Do not go out into the field, nor walk by the way, because of the sword of the enemy. Fear is on every side.”

Certain events: (Luke 21:26) “Men’s hearts failing them form fear, and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.” 

Things/signs reminding with the wrath of God: (Matt 24:6) “See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass.”

Future with its surprises, disasters, problems, and/or failure: (Matt 6:34) “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” 

Punishment: (Rev 6:15, 16) “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”

Judgment: (Ps 99:1) “The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; let the earth be moved”

Authorities: (Lk 12:4, 5; Matt 10:28) “Do not afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” 

God for displeasing Him: (Isa 2:19) “They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightly” 


Biblical Picture:

If we fear anything other than God, we are deceived. God alone is worthy of fear. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps 111:10), “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov 9:10); and the wise who fears God develops self control to depart from all evil, as the most wise Solomon says, “A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident” (Prov 14:16).  The Lord God says, “They had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever” (Deut 5:29 and see also Exud 20:18-20; Deut 6:2; 10:12, 20, 21).   

Meaning of Fear:

The word “Fear” used in the Old Testament is (????, yir'?h, ???, y?r?') in Hebrew; and in The New Testament is (?????, phóbos, ?????, phobé?) in Greek. In Hebrew, yirah (Jon 1:16, Ps 90:11), yare (Mal 3:16) and pachad (Job 3:25a, Ps 119:120) mean reverence, fear, terror, or dread, translated simply fear. There are other words in Hebrew for mere respect, reverence, or honor, such as kabad (Ex 20:12). In Greek fear/terror is phobo (Mat 28:4, 1Pet 2:17), where reverence or honor is timao (1 Pet 2:17).


With this distinction in both Hebrew and Greek, some still assert that "fear merely means reverence." Some would prefer to believe this than to understand that God really ought to be feared. In Scripture, the fear of God is closely linked to the revelation of His sovereignty. “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness. Fearful in praises, doing wonders” (Exud 15:11).