The essentiality and importance of fearing the Lord is emphatic in Scripture. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7) and wisdom (Psalm 111:10). It is a fountain of life (Proverbs 14:27) and a universal requirement (Psalm 33:8-9). It is clean and endures forever (Psalm 19:9). Moses (in Deuteronomy 10:12, 13:4, and 31:12), Joshua (in Joshua 24:14), Samuel (in 1 Samuel 12:24), and Solomon (in Ecclesiastes 12:13) each earnestly exhorted his contemporaries in four different generations to fervently fear God and serve Him obediently. One of Isaiah’s prophecies of Jesus declared that He would have a “spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” because His delight is the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2-3).
Because of its paramount importance, how sweet are the words of Psalm 34:11-12: “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?” How intently ought our focus to be as David answers this supreme question with these inspired, practical instructions: “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:13-14).
How do you fear the Lord?
- You control your tongue. Your obedience to God’s will so thoroughly permeates your mind and your mouth that you bridle your unruly tongue (James 3:8), because an unbridled tongue makes your religion useless (James 1:26). Every idle word will be accounted for in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36); your words will either justify or condemn you (Matthew 12:37).
- You depart from evil and do good. Your desire to please God is so keen that you abhor what is evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). Because the fear of Lord is to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13), you hate every false way (Psalm 119:104). Being holy in all your conduct is your passionate pursuit (1 Peter 1:15-16).
- You seek peace and pursue it. The peace of God surpasses all understanding and will guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:7). Maintaining peace with God is your highest priority. Peace does not happen accidentally. It is offered to you by the Prince of peace through the gospel of peace. Once you have been justified by obedient faith, you have peace with God (Romans 5:1). Walking obediently in the light and confessing your sins when you stray from the path of obedience (1 John 1:7, 9) are essential to remaining at peace with God. Being a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9) and living peaceably with all men, if possible, (Romans 12:18) are also part and parcel with seeking and pursuing peace.
Learning how to fear the Lord is essential.
Living by the fear of the Lord is essential too.