Proverbs on the Fear of God

(The web version uses "Yahweh" instead of  "LORD" or "God"
which is a more direct and literal translation from the Hebrew)

9:10  The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom.
The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
1:7  The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge;
But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

Benefits from the Fear of God

1:27  When calamity overtakes you like a storm,
When your disaster comes on like a whirlwind;
When distress and anguish come on you.
1:28  Then will they call on me, but I will not answer.
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me;
1:29  Because they hated knowledge,
And didnít choose the fear of Yahweh.
1:33  But whoever listens to me will dwell securely,
And will be at ease, without fear of harm.

29:25 The fear of man proves to be a snare,
But whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.
14:26 In the fear of Yahweh is a secure fortress,
And he will be a refuge for his children.

19:23 The fear of Yahweh leads to life, then contentment;
He rests and will not be touched by trouble.
15:16 Better is little, with the fear of Yahweh,
Than great treasure with trouble.

10:27 The fear of Yahweh prolongs days,
But the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
14:27  The fear of Yahweh is a fountain of life,
Turning people from the snares of death.

15:33 The fear of Yahweh teaches wisdom.
Before honor is humility.
22:4 The result of humility and the fear of Yahweh Is wealth, honor, and life.
31:30  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain;
But a woman who fears Yahweh, she shall be praised.

Summary of Some of the Benefits:

Developing the Fear of God

2:1-5 My son,
if you will receive my words, And store up my commandments within you;
So as to turn your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you call out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures:
Then you will understand the fear of Yahweh, And find the knowledge of God.

Applying the Fear of God

8:13  The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil.
I hate pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the perverse mouth.
3:7 Donít be wise in your own eyes.
Fear Yahweh, and depart from evil.
16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is atoned for.
By the fear of Yahweh men depart from evil.
14:16 A wise man fears, and shuns evil,
But the fool is hotheaded and reckless.

14:2 He who walks in his uprightness fears Yahweh,
But he who is perverse in his ways despises him.

23:17 Donít let your heart envy sinners;
But rather fear Yahweh all the day long.

24:21 My son, fear Yahweh and the king.
Donít join those who are rebellious:


Fear and Security

The fearless live insecurely. For though they "feel" secure, yet their lack of the fear of God blinds them to the doom they face. This is even the case among those who call themselves "Christian". For many Christians lack the fear of God as well. Yet the New Testament - both Jesus and the apostles - advocate the fear of God.
Luke 12:5  But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
2 Corinthians 5:11  Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men,
2 Corinthians 7:1  Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Ephesians 5:21  subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.
1 Timothy 5:20  Those who sin, reprove in the sight of all, that the rest also may be in fear.
Hebrews 4:1  Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps a promise being left of entering into his rest, anyone of you should seem to have come short of it.
1 Peter 2:17  Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
It could be said that part of Christian ministry is to induce the fear of God in people, yes even in Christians. Many Christians have been misled to equate Eternal Security with Assurance of Salvation, being taught that faith in Christ means to lack the fear of God's wrath. They are taught that to doubt their assurance of salvation is to doubt Christ. But that is not what the Bible teaches. Yes the Bible does teach Eternal Secuity, for once saved always saved. But whether a particular individual is saved is questionable. Thus Paul writes even to the Christians in Corinth, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in youó unless, of course, you fail the test?" 2Cor 13:5 (niv) For there are Christians who fearlessly commit sin presuming they will escape God's judgment. Thus Paul writes, "Or donít you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Donít be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals,  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God." 1Cor 6:9,10 "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries."Heb 10:26,27 See also "How Can You Be Sure of Your Salvation Status?"

Furthermore many oppose the preaching of a gospel which advocates the fear of God. They say to preach God's wrath may "turn people off". And so they present a "Santa Claus" type of Jesus figure. They advocate only things that make people feel good about themselves. And while they speak of sin, yet their gospel makes repentance and discipleship optional. Free Grace theology holds these positions. It's antinomianism. (It is interesting also to note that even the modern "Santa Claus" figure deviates from this historic person on this point. For the historic Santa Claus would also punish bad children by giving them coal. But there is no equivalent practice today)  Much of Christianity today is conformed to modern American culture and contrary to the Bible. See also A Perspective on the State of Modern Evangelicalism.

How to Fear God

Why to fear God is rather obvious. But how should we practice the fear of God? Submission and obedience to God and His commands and departing from evil. This implies that we are aware of what God has said on these matters and thus the fear of God drives one to Bible study, which is God's direct revelation of these matters. But then there are those who while claiming to submit to God refuse to submit in a godly fashion to legitimate human authority figures. Of these the Bible says, "My son, fear Yahweh and the king. Donít join those who are rebellious:" And in the New Testament
"subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ." Ephesians 5
  • Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. vs 5:22
  • Children, obey your parents in the Lord vs 6:1
  • Servants, be obedient to those who according to the flesh are your masters vs 6:5
  • And thus of a rebellious society Isaiah writes, "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them." Is 3:12 (kjv)

    But if you live a godly life advocating such principles, you will be despised by the perverse as it is written.

    Prov 14:2 He who walks in his uprightness fears Yahweh,
    But he who is perverse in his ways despises him.

    Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Tim 3:12


    How does the fear of God lead to true security and contentment and how does this differ from the feelings of security and contentment which some of those who don't fear God experience?
    How is the fear of God related to submission?
    Do you fear God? Why or why not?
    Though saving faith qualifies one to be saved from God's wrath in accordance with the gospel, how do you know whether you have such faith? And how does this affect your sense of fear?
    Is it your practice to depart from evil because of your fear of God's wrath?
    Do you encourage others to fear God and to depart from evil practices?
    Or do you encourage others to not fear God and to not be overly concerned whether they depart they depart from evil practices?
    What kinds of things should we avoid envying in others?

    The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015