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what is the 'fear of god'?

Discussion in 'Questions by Non-Christians (Archived)' started by feral, Mar 11, 2003.

do you fear god?

  1. only the unsaved should fear god

  2. i fear god because he is all powerful

  3. i don't believe in fearing god

  4. i'm scared of my own shadow!

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. feral

    feral Dostoyevsky was right

    what does it mean to fear god? does that mean you should be afraid of him...like he's a bully? or what? this issue is rather confusing, because why would you need to fear a loving god?
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    I think, term "fear" has rather a sense of "respect".
  3. Soul-jah_33

    Soul-jah_33 Member

    yeah repect is a good way of puttng it
  4. the outlaw

    the outlaw Member

    Fear actually has something to do with faith...

    Here's an example...

    Say a snake is slitthering on the ground nearby. He looks poised to strike. Fear comes over you. Why? Because you BELIEVE the snake WILL strike or at least has the ability to harm you.

    Fear is a manifestation of faith. It can be in the wrong things but I think the Biblical verse "Fear the Lord" is used in the sense that God is all powerful and all good. None of us are "good" when confronted with God's "brand of goodness". Therefore, we should "fear" God. He holds our eternal lives in his hands and we deserve what we have chosen, to be separated from him for eternity. Thankfully, he bridged that separation through Christ on the Cross. Hope this helps....
  5. Theresa

    Theresa With Reason

    The Old Testament says that "fear of the Lord" is the root of wisdom. It's something similar to the awe and the respect that a child feels for a strict parent. Christ also says not to fear those who can harm the body but to fear him because he has the power to cast into hell.

    Only when one is humble can they truly appreciate fear of the Lord because fear of the Lord stems from a love of the Lord and a knowledge of the Lord.

  6. GodOwnsMe

    GodOwnsMe Well-Known Member

    uhhhh :) I recently read some stuff about this, wow it was irritating me & I was pretty much struggling with that issue, I mean it said the fear of God doesn't mean to be afraid of Him (I mean there's bible verses that say perfect/real (?) love drives out all fear... um well stuff like that that we can come to God without fear. :))
    but I still felt bad about this & didn't really get it. Well I was asking God to teach me & help me with this & I think He really did, like I was getting a weird pic of God in the past & got bitter/even kinda angry towards Him & stuff. Well I think I learned more what it means to be respectful towards Him.
    He's a holy, perfect, awesome God & well yeh respect is part of this I think.
    mhh !! :) yep God is for us definately & He is also love !! :)
    God Bless u ppl :)
  7. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

    United States
    As others have mentioned, "fear" is primarily referring to the reverencial acknowledgement of our Creator.  I also want to point out that "fear," as in "fear of judgment" is also part of our obedience.  Think of your dad or mom, or whoever was the disciplinarian in your family.  I know that I looked at my dad as the leader of the family and I respected his ruling.  But, don't be confused about the fact that there was a measure of real fear of his judgment, not because it was unwarranted, but because I understood I would not enjoy being judged for my disobedience even though I deserved the penalty.  A measure of "fear of the judgment of God" is most certainly a healthy thing.  Along with that, however, Christians can take comfort in His love for us, just as I "feared the judgment of my father" when I had done something wrong but I did not doubt his love for me.

    God bless
  8. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    I know it's sorta long, but it's helped me in the past when I've thought of this.

    [color=crimson red]FEAR
    fer (yir'ah, yare'; phobos, phobeo):

    Fear is a natural and, in its purpose, beneficent feeling, arising in the presence or anticipation of danger, and moving to its avoidance; it is also awakened in the presence of superiors and of striking manifestations of power, etc., taking the form of awe or reverence. Fear has been said to be the source of religion, but religion can never have originated from fear alone, since men are impelled to draw nigh with expectation to the object of worship. [/color]

    "Fear" is certainly a prominent element in Old Testament religion; the "fear of God" or of Yahweh, "the fear of the Lord," is indeed synonymous with religion itself (Psalms 34:11; Proverbs 1:7; Isaiah 11:2,3; Jeremiah 2:19; Ecclesiastes 12:13, "the whole duty of man," the Revised Version, margin "the duty of all men"). But although the element of dread, or of "fear" in its lower sense, is not always absent and is sometimes prominent in the earlier stages especially, though not exclusively (Exodus 23:27, 'emah; 1 Samuel 11:7; 2 Chronicles 20:29; Psalms 119:120; Isaiah 2:10,19,21), it is more the feeling of reverent regard for their God, tempered with awe and fear of the punishment of disobedience. As such it is a sentiment commanded and to be cherished toward Yahweh (Exodus 20:20; Deuteronomy 6:13; Joshua 4:24; 1 Samuel 12:24; Job 6:14; Psalms 33:8; 34:9; Proverbs 23:17; Ecclesiastes 5:7, etc.). It is an essential element in the worship and service of Yahweh (2Ki 17 often; Psalms 2:11, etc.); it is a Divine qualification of the Messiah (Isaiah 11:2,3). This "fear of Yahweh" is manifested in keeping God's commandments, walking in His ways, doing His will, avoiding sin, etc. (Exodus 20:20; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 2 Samuel 23:3; Psalms 34:4,9 parallel Proverbs 8:13; 16:6). It is the true wisdom (Job 28:28; Psalms 25:14; Proverbs 1:7; 15:33); it gives life (Proverbs 10:27, etc.), blessedness (Psalms 128:1,4), sufficiency (Psalms 34:9), Divine friendship (Psalms 25:14), protection (Psalms 34:7), deliverance (Psalms 85:9), forgiveness (Psalms 130:4). In Psalms 90:11 the King James Version has "According to thy fear so is thy wrath," the Revised Version (British and American) "and thy wrath according to the fear that is due unto thee"; the meaning probably is "thy wrath is in proportion to thy fear."

    The "fear of the Lord" is a frequent phrase in Apocrypha, and is highly exalted, e.g. Ecclesiasticus 1:11-30; the idea of it became gradually more and more elevated; in 2:15,16 it is joined with the love of God.
    [color=crimson red]
    "Fear" is the natural consequence of sin (Genesis 3:10; 4:13,14; Proverbs 28:1); it comes as a punishment (Deuteronomy 28:25,28). The fear of man and of evils are dangers to be avoided, from which the fear of God delivers (Numbers 14:9; 21:34; Psalms 23:4; 31:14, etc.).

    "Fear" sometimes stands for the object of fear (Proverbs 10:24; Isaiah 66:4); for the object of worship (Genesis 31:42,53, "the God of Abraham, and the Fear of isaac," pachadh).

    In the New Testament dread, or fear of God in the lower sense, is removed; He is revealed as the loving and forgiving Father, who gives to men the spirit of sonship (Romans 8:15; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18); we are invited even to come "with boldness unto the throne of grace," with confidence, assurance (parrhesia), which, however, may have its literal meaning of free "utterance" (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19); but there remains a filial fear and sense of awe and of the greatness of the issues involved (Romans 11:20; Ephesians 5:21, the Revised Version (British and American) "of Christ"; 1 Timothy 5:20; Hebrews 4:1); all other fears should be dismissed (Matthew 8:26; 10:26-28,31; Luke 12:32); in Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:5, "fear" is used in the sense of "stand in awe of," so perhaps Luke 23:40; to "fear God" is sometimes used in the New Testament as equivalent to religion (Luke 18:4; Acts 10:2,35; 13:16,26, used of proselytes); in Hebrews 10:27, it is said that if Christ be willfully rejected, nothing remains but "a fearful looking for (the Revised Version (British and American) "expectation") of judgment," and 10:31, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," in which places "fearful" means "terrible," something well to be feared. the Revised Version (British and American) gives frequently a more literal rendering of the words translated "fear."
    W. L. Walker
  9. DWJD

    DWJD Independent and stubborn, not to mention random

    I really like using the word awe-inspiring for this subject. def. here it is-
    and the definition for awesome-
    inspiring awe
    When people say to fear the Lord I think it means you should have respect for him. He is an amazing God with amazing powers. He is and almighty God. And he should not be taken lightly, but at the same time he is very loving and kind!
    I hope this helps you! God Bless! RH
  10. OLDoMiNiON

    OLDoMiNiON Senior Member

    Not much i need to add, but i'll say one thing.

    When people do things such as taking drugs, drinking heavily (and i'm not reffering the addiction side of this - just the fact that they do it anyway, addiction or no addiction), having unprotected sex etc etc, it often outlines that fact that they have no fear of the consequences of their actions. This is obviously a bad thing. You have to respect the fact that these things hold a "power" over you as they can produce an unwanted consequence if you fail to realise this.

    In the same way we should fear God because if we don't we could be in danger of underestimating his power, this sometimes having an undesirale outcome as many people in the Bible found out.
  11. rapturefish

    rapturefish Kingdom Citizen, Spiritual Nomad

    Yes, fear has to do with both respect and a little fear in the right place. I think of Aslan in "the Chronicles of Narnia", where Aslan is said not to be a tame lion. God is infinitely powerful, and that is the closest answer in the poll to it. But God is both loving and holy. We feel both that we can trust God with anything and everything and that he is very intimately close to us like a father. But also at the same time he is holy and powerful and so we fear that power and respect it such that we hang on every word he says.

    Another analogy is say your father is the general of an army. He is loving and tender because you're his child. But he can also command respect at the same time. When he says anything you obey him without question - because you have a sense of awe and respect but also because you trust him totally that he knows what he is doing.

  12. aus_koala

    aus_koala New Member

    Interesting subject.

    I had a personal experience about 2 years ago. I have been a 'born again' Christian for the last 10 years.

    I had often been challenged over the years about the 'fear the Lord' stuff.

    Well, I was in a situation where I had some time to kill and was oing some fairly innocent sort of stuff (the nature of which is irrelevant) which some Christians may not think is good and some would even think sinful however I was just sort of killing time.

    Well a sequence of events occurred that would be in the billions to one if odds were being laid on these occurring in a row yet alone in a 45 minute period. The events even attracted the interest of a few others who started off thinking it was quite novel and then started to think there was something strange going on and then were just stunned. I just continued on until the 4th event. At this point I got scared (fear) as this had taken on supernatural proportions. I then left the premises where I was and the people shaking their heads in wonder, confusion or awe.

    When I was on my own a few minutes later I "feared the Lord", not because I was worried about him doing something nasty to me, exactly the opposite he had blessed me to a level I could not believe. I had a very real revelation of the power of God and that He was also taking a very specific interest in what I was doing. This scared me.

    I now life with the "fear of the Lord". I don't talk about it much as I find it difficult to explain but even just writing here I am transported back to that time and place and I can feel my heart beat faster and my breathing changes. Since that day many things in my life have changed, especially my attitudes to various things such as work, family, kids, wealth, etc.

    I suggest people 'seek' an understanding of the "fear of the Lord" and I am sure God will bless you by knowing its meaning, in your heart as well as your head.
  13. DWJD

    DWJD Independent and stubborn, not to mention random

    Rapturefish-I love the Aslan analogy!Forgot bout him! I love those books! C.S Lewis was a brilliant guy!
  14. Levi133

    Levi133 New Member

    Fear of the Lord, this is a question I asked God to reveal the answer to me, from what He has shown me so far I can sum up in this little phrase.

    To trust and to obey God is the fear of the Lord. 

    I also agree that faith in linked to the fear of the Lord you can't separate trusting God and having faith in Him.

    Look to God as a parent (a Father) and the parent tells us what we should do, He gives us rules too.  These aren't given to us to limit life or to make us miss out on things they are given to us to so that we can have an abundant life. For example as a child I always wanted to put a fork or some other metal object into an electrical outlet.  My parents discouraged this behaviour, well knowing that the result may that didn't stop me I wanted to make sure what they said was true.  So I did and guess what my parents were right. My parents gave me guidance and wisdom that I didn't have as a child.  The same is true for God, He knows best and to fear Him is to trust and obey Him even if I don't know why or i'm not sure.  (I still struggle with this but as I put my faith(trust) in Him, He shows up big time)

    The other thing that I have learned is that to experience the best life possible I must submit my own decisions to God, He has the best planned for me and its up to me to accept it or not.  That is fearing the Lord to accept His plan for me and to relinquish control to Him.  This is also a freeing experience.  God tells us that he wants to give us freedom, part of that comes from fearing him or trusting and obeying him.
  15. Job_38

    Job_38 <font size="1"> In perfect orbit they have circled


    &nbsp;The fear of God is not the fear as we use it. Its more of a respect. Respect for the Creator, King, and my Savior. It also, however, is the same type we should have with our father, realizing that God disciplines those He loves we are to follow Him the best we can.

  16. Edouard

    Edouard Regular Member


    We are all discussing the roles God plays in our lives.
    Even the demons fear God.
  17. nChrist

    nChrist AKA: Tom - Saved By Grace Through Faith Supporter

    United States
    I feel that "respect" would be a more appropriate term for a Christian. I respect the commands and teachings of God's Holy Word. If I were in His Presence and thinking about my sin and failures, it would be fear. I can't imagine what it would be like to stand before The Almighty and All Powerful God. I would simply be a pitiful man.
  18. aus_koala

    aus_koala New Member

    I think the word fear is used in the bible because that is exactly what is meant and it is the most appropriate word in our language for the meaning God wants us to have. Fear of the Lord means fear of the Lord and not any other word. I think we need to be very careful when we start replacing His words with our own. If people take the word "fear" to mean anything else then that becomes their own interpretation and not necessarily what God wanted.

    Can we change the saying that "even demons fear God" to "even demons respect God"? I think not.

    In the scriptures the word fear is used alongside words like trembling, melting, dread and terror. These are hardly words that indicate that the word fear means anything other than fear.
  19. Rafael

    Rafael Only time enough for love

    Perfect love casts out fear.

    1 John 4:18 Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us.
  20. A Brethren IN CHRIST

    A Brethren IN CHRIST Well-Known Member

    In the Old Testament Fear of the Lord was litterally fear of Death since 9 out of 10 penalties of the 10 commandments was Death

    But Fear in the New Testament in Ephesian 5:21
    Submitting yourselves one to
    another in the fear of God.

    the word fear is afraid to disrupt the goodness of a spiritual man who is showing forth the one fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance

    in christ