What is the Fear of the Lord?

Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: (Luke 18:2 KJV)

Scripture presents two types of fear of God. The first is an unholy, servile fear that makes us run away from God, like Adam and Eve. God often cautions us against this fear with the well-known words “fear not”. The second type is a holy fear that God longs to see in our lives, often referred to as “the fear of the Lord”.

To fear God in the good and holy sense means to “regard Him with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of”. It is “to have such awe or respect for a person as to involve a measure of fear”.

This type of fear makes us tremble at God and His Word.  In the Old Testament, a recurrent theme about the fear of the Lord is that it keeps us from evil (Proverbs 16:6).

The term “feelings” in this definition must not conjure ideas of emotionalism. This is not merely about an emotional response, such as loving God or worshiping and crying. Instead, a profound reverence for God compels us to tremble at His Word, be in awe of Him, and make us obey His Words.

The litmus test of the fear of the Lord is trembling at His Word and departing from sin or evil. If this fear of God is removed from society, evil multiplies everywhere. And when it is in people’s hearts, they depart from sin and evil.

May the Lord pour out upon us a fresh spirit of the fear of the Lord!


What are the two types of fear mentioned above?

Apply the Word

Do you fear God? In Luke 18:2, the judge did not fear God, which was evident in his actions. Nurture the fear of the Lord in your heart, and teach your children to fear Him.


Ask the Lord for the spirit of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).


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