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Godly Fear

We often think of fear as a bad thing, but it is not always so. It is wise to fear danger. When I was young, I would sometimes hear the phrase “God fearing” applied to some people. I don’t hear this term used anymore. Our society has changed so much.


It is wise to fear God.


Before I was saved, I heard preaching on the punishment for sin, and it made me afraid. This was a good thing, because it caused me to turn to God.


“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

(Proverbs 1:7)


“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

(Matthew 10:28)


There is a godly fear even after salvation.

It is a reasonable response to

God's greatness, power, judgement, and holiness.


“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:”

(Hebrews 12:28)


We should fear God’s word in this same way.


“Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.”

(Isaiah 66:5)


There is a wrong kind of fear that involves timidity or cowardice.

God does not want his children to fear in this way.


“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

(II Timothy 1:7)


God’s love is the solution for this kind of fear.


“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

(I John 4:18)


"Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.”

(Psalms 115:11) 03373


"In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”

(Proverbs 14:26) 03373


“The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”

(Psalms 19:9) 03374


“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.”

(Psalms 103:13) 03373


“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”

(Proverbs 3:7) 03372


“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

(Ecclesiastes 12:13) 03372


“Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:”

(Romans 11:20) 5399


“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

(Revelation 21:8) 1169


“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

(Luke 12:32) 5399


“Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:”

(Exodus 18:21) 03373


”pecially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”

(Deuteronomy 4:10) 03372


02730 drx chared khaw-rade’

from 02729; TWOT-735a; adj

AV-tremble 5, afraid 1; 6

1) trembling, fearful, afraid


03372 ary yare’ yaw-ray’

a primitive root; TWOT-907,908; v

AV-fear 188, afraid 78, terrible 23, terrible thing 6, dreadful 5, reverence 3, fearful 2, terrible acts 1, misc 8; 314


1) to fear, revere, be afraid

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to fear, be afraid

1a2) to stand in awe of, be awed

1a3) to fear, reverence, honour, respect

1b) (Niphal)

1b1) to be fearful, be dreadful, be feared

1b2) to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe

1b3) to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe

1c) (Piel) to make afraid, terrify

(TWOT) to shoot, pour


03373 ary yare’ yaw-ray’

from 03372; TWOT-907a; adj

AV-fear 59, afraid 3, fearful 2; 64

1) fearing, reverent, afraid


03374 hary yir’ah yir-aw’

from 03373; TWOT-907b; n f

AV-fear 41, exceedingly + 01419 2, dreadful 1, fearfulness 1; 45

1) fear, terror, fearing

1a) fear, terror

1b) awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear)

1c) fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety

1d) revered

2)


1167 deilia deilia di-lee’-ah

from 1169; ; n f

AV-fear 1; 1

1) timidity, fearfulness, cowardice

For Synonyms see entry 5835


1169 deilov deilos di-los’

from deos (dread); ; adj

AV-fearful 3; 3

1) timid, fearful

AV-fearful 2, terrible 1; 3


2124 eulabeia eulabeia yoo-lab’-i-ah

from 2126; TDNT-2:751,275; n f

AV-godly fear 1, fear 1; 2

1) caution, circumspection, discretion

1a) avoidance

1b) a reasonable shunning

2) reverence, veneration

2a) reverence toward God, godly fear, piety

3) fear anxiety, dread

For Synonyms see entry 5835


5398 foberov phoberos fob-er-os’

from 5401; ; adj

AV-fearful 2, terrible 1; 3

1) inspiring fear, terrible, formidable

2) affected with fear, timid

For Synonyms see entry 5835


5399 fobew phobeo fob-eh’-o

from 5401; TDNT-9:189,1272; v

AV-fear 62, be afraid 23, be afraid of 5, reverence 1, misc 2; 93

1) to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away)

1a) to put to flight, to flee

1b) to fear, be afraid

1b1) to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm

1b1a) of those startled by strange sights or occurrences

1b1b) of those struck with amazement

1b2) to fear, be afraid of one

1b3) to fear (i.e. hesitate) to do something (for fear of harm)

1c) to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience

For Synonyms see entry 5841


5401 fobov phobos fob’-os

from a primary phebomai (to be put in fear); TDNT-9:189,1272; n m

AV-fear 41, terror 3, misc 3; 47

1) fear, dread, terror

1a) that which strikes terror

2) reverence for one’s husband


1) inspiring fear, terrible, formidable

2) affected with fear, timid

For Synonyms see entry 5835


Psalms 115:11, Proverbs 14:26, Proverbs 1:7, Psalms 111:10, Psalms 19:9, Psalms 103:13, Proverbs 3:7, Ecclesiastes 12:13, Matthew 10:28, Hebrews 12:28, Romans 11:20, Hebrews 10:31, Revelation 21:8, Luke 12:32, Romans 8:15, 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 John 4:18, Exodus 18:21, Deuteronomy 4:10


“1 ¶ <> Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. 2 Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. 3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. 5 Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. 7 Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God. 8 ¶ Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Psalms 56:1-8 AV)


“31 ¶ What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31- 32 AV)


“8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:8-11 AV)


“1 ¶ <> Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. 2 Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. 3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. 5 Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. 7 Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God. 8 ¶ Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Psalms 56:1-8 AV)


“31 ¶ What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31- 32 AV)


“8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:8-11 AV)

 

“ And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.” (Exodus 14:10 AV)


“9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help. 10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; 11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. 12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. 13 And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 14 ¶ Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; 15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. 18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 20:9-18 AV)


“7 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” (2 Chronicles 32:7-8 AV)


“4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. 5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. 6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” (Psalms 18:4-6 AV)


“ Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2 AV)


“ And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,” (Mark 10:32 AV)


“ Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” (Psalms 2:11 AV)


“ For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2 AV)


“25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” (Mark 5:25-34 AV)


“3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:3-6 AV)


“1 ¶ And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 AV)


“5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” (Ephesians 6:5-6 AV)


“12 ¶ Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13 AV)

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