The fear of the Lord

Psalm 19:9a “the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever”

One of the words used to refer to the words of Scripture in Psalm 19 is “the fear of the Lord.”  The “fear of the Lord” is a phrase used frequently in the Word of God. It refers to reverence or awe of God.  It reflects an attitude whereby we take what He has said very seriously, for chastisement (for the believer) and judgment (for the unbeliever) are the sure consequences for those who don’t. 

It is in the Word of God that we see the true fear of the Lord portrayed in a very “clean,” i.e., pure, way.  The fear of God as expressed and demonstrated in the Word of God is something that cleanses the life of the believer. With this fear comes the wisdom as well as the desire to confess and forsake the contaminating influence of sin and walk in ways that are clean in God’s eyes.  We are told in 1 John 1:9 that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Just as a son fears the corrective discipline of a father that disciplines him because he truly loves him, the child of God will fear the certain discipline of God when He sins against this One who loves him as no one else does. And just as a son loves his father deeply, even though he is disciplined by him, so the child of God will love his father in Heaven deeply, from the heart. 

It is to those that fear God that salvation is promised.  Just as the Word of God endures forever, so do those who fear God and His Word.  It is to these that the Lord reminds us that He has “commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival (Deuteronomy 6:24).”  Note this is for our good “always and for our survival” in this present world, but more so for the life to come.

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