The Fear of God PDF Print E-mail
In the Library

the fear of god1      “John Bunyan (1628-1688) is the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, which is the most widely read and published book in the world, next to the Bible itself. But he wrote and preached much more than that; his collected works take up 3 large volumes. One of his finest works is the Treatise on the Fear of God, first published in 1679.”
      “Bunyan spent much time in jail for his preaching, lasting intermittently from 1660-1672. It was during his imprisonment, however, that he penned most of his works, including his famous Pilgrim’s Progress.
      The Fear of God by John Bunyan is a marvelous exposition on godly fear, which serves us well with this present subject matter of discipleship, and the next upcoming lesson: Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother. God is good to direct us in the way in which He should have us go!
      In a culture of brazen rebels so clearly exemplified in the popular “No Fear” bumper stickers, which fittingly preceded the epitome of rebellion—Vote Obama, it would behoove us to take up this book, The Fear of God, and study it with our children.
      Fear certainly has few proponents these days, yet it is this fear that bellowed from the pulpits that strengthened our forefathers to fight for their godly heritage. It was the command that parents taught their children, which trained them in obedience for obedience in righteousness. It is that which strengthened the righteous to take dominion for the glory of God; that which was central to the home and to the Church, which bound families together; compelled sons to take godly leadership and daughters to be keepers of their homes; protected women, the unborn, the infirm, and the elderly; kept the Sabbath holy; and in truth, restrained wickedness. Why else would anyone sacrifice their own desires and fleshly lusts if it were not for fearing Almighty God? It is that which the social planners of seminaries, public schools, and Hollywood deemed most necessary to destroy.
      During the lean years of the Great Depression, only three murders were committed in New York City. Contrast that to the present statistics on murder. What caused the difference—the fear of God that was taught at home and expounded upon in the pulpit and thus reigned in the streets. See God requires all men to fear Him. Psalm 33:8 “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.” Proverbs 16:6 “…by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
      Compare this fear with the lack thereof today as you consider all the unfaithful fathers who abdicate their duty to lead and disciple, mothers who work outside the home, children in schools and learning centers, divorces, single parent homes, unwed mothers, abortions, murders, violations of the Sabbath—the epitome of “No Fear” so aptly displayed on vehicles rushing to and from unrighteousness. Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Proverbs 1:29 “For they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD.” Isaiah 29:13,14 “Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” Proverbs 13:13 “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed...” 1 Peter 2:8 “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.” John 12:48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
      Do you stand in awe of His Word and work diligently to abide in it? Psalm 119:161 “…My heart standeth in awe of thy word.” Joseph, when tempted, said in Genesis 39:9 “…How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?”
      Our service to God is only acceptable when we do it out of fear. Hebrews 12:28,29 (NAS) “…offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28 (KJV) “…let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Psalm 2:11 “Serve the Lord with fear.” 1 Samuel 12:24 “Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all yourheart; for consider what great things He has done for you.” Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Genesis 42:18 “Now Joseph said…I fear God.” 1 Kings 18:3 “…Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly.”
      When God revealed Himself to His chosen servants, they were undone. Daniel 10:8 “So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me...” Isaiah 6:5 “Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Habakkuk 3:16 “…I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble…” Revelation 1:17 “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead…” Revelation 15:4 “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?”
      Psalm 89:7 “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints…” Acts 9:31 “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria , and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” Luke 1:6 “…walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 “…cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Hebrews 12:14 “…holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.”
      Even Christ’s prayers were heard by His Father because He feared. Hebrews 5:7 “…He was heard in that he feared.” Psalm 147:11 “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.”
      Lacking a true understanding of this fear? Psalm 34:11 “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” For unlike what many perceive, it is not some slavish fear that keeps us in bondage—that is a fear that comes from the devil himself. Many of you may understand it better if you think upon the reverence you have for your earthly father who stands in His stead to us. Did not we fear our fathers, not in slavish fear, but in a holy fear out of genuine love and awe of our fathers? Isaiah 8:13 “Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”
      Numerous blessings are for those who fear the Lord. Psalm 147:11 “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him…” Psalm 25:12 “What man is he that feareth the LORD? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.” Psalm 25:14 “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” Psalm 33:18,19 “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 145:19 “He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” Psalm 103:17 “The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.” Jeremiah 32:40 “I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.”
      Deuteronomy 4:9,10 “Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them to thy sons, and thy sons’ sons…that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.” 1 Peter 1:17 “And if ye call on the Father,who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.”
      My children are 21, 19, and 14, but they still love bedtime stories. As a matter of fact, I just read the following two books to the entire family, including Jon, just before bedtime, because they all wanted to attend “Mama’s bedtime story hour.” Do any of us ever get too old for a delightful bedtime story? Better not, because all of us should be taking time to read them to our own children. Remember to be faithful to train your children in the ways of godly fatherhood and godly motherhood.