How important is the fear of the Lord?
The rewards of developing the fear of the Lord are emphasized throughout Scripture. In fact, all the things a person would hope to find in the proverbial pot of gold come with humility and the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 22:4 states that “by humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life.”
Scriptural rewards for fearing the Lord:
- Strength to turn away from evil
“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil” (Proverbs 16:6).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
- Prolonged life
“The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened” (Proverbs 10:27).
- A fountain of life
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27).
- The basis for contentment
“Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith” (Proverbs 15:16).
- The instruction of wisdom
“The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility” (Proverbs 15:33).
- Healing and refreshment
“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7–8, ESV).
“But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple” (Psalm 5:7).
- God’s faithful provision
“O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him” (Psalm 34:9). “He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant” (Psalm 111:5).
- Access to God’s salvation
“Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land” (Psalm 85:9).
- Strong confidence and refuge
“In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26).
- A satisfying life
“The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23).
- The secrets of the Lord
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant” (Psalm 25:14).
- Experiences of God’s goodness
“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19).
- God’s watchful care and provision
“Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine” (Psalm 33:18–19).
- Deliverance from trouble
“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7).
- God’s mercy
“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him” (Psalm 103:11).
- The Lord’s fatherly pity
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him” (Psalm 103:13).
- Bringing pleasure to God
“The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy” (Psalm 147:11).
- Becoming God’s special treasure
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels . . .” (Malachi 3:16–17).
- To be taught the way of the Lord
“What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose” (Psalm 25:12).
- The application of holiness
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Corinthians 7:1).
- Scriptural submission to one another
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21).
- The fulfillment of desires
“He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them” (Psalm 145:19).
In light of such abundant promises, we should earnestly seek to develop the fear of the Lord. We would be wise to pray along with the psalmist David, “Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name” (Psalm 86:11).
This material is adapted from IBLP’s booklet titled The Overlooked Requirements for Riches, Honor, and Life.