Joseph – A God-fearing man
|January 12, 2016||Posted by Pastor Viju Mathai under Articles, General, Sermons||
Latest posts by Pastor Viju Mathai (see all)
- Discernment vs. Judgment – V (God’s Guidelines for Discerning) - April 4, 2016
- Discernment vs. Judgment -IV (How do we Discern) - April 4, 2016
- Discernment vs. Judgment -III (Diakrino, Dokimazo) - April 4, 2016
Everyone knows what its like to be afraid. We all have things that we’re afraid of – I can remember as a child being afraid of the dark – a fear I think we have all had at one time or another. For my wife its definitely got to be spiders!! For some of you it may be storms, an extreme height, traveling in airplanes, or dogs. There are two kinds of fear.
Fear that is harmful
This is the “spirit of fear”. This fear paralyzes us, keeps us from doing things we could or should do.
- Fear of failure: When we have high expectations. The unprofitable servant was corrected for being wicked and lazy after he made the excuse, “I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground” instead of using it productively (Matthew 25:25).
- Fear of unknown.
Psalm 23:4… Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 112:6-8… 6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. 7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
- Fear of rejection:
- Fear of man:
- David was not afraid of Goliath,
- The three Hebrew boys and Daniel feared God more than they feared Nebucannasar,
- Mordecai did not fear Haman
Proverbs 29:25… Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Psalm 27:1-3… 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
Psalm 34:4… I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalms 91: dwelling in the secret place of the most high -no fear
- Fear of crowd (Job 31:34): Psalm 3:6… I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
Such fear does not have a positive end. Obviously this fear is not what God is looking for. So what type of fear does God want us to have?
Fear that is good
Keeps us from driving 200kph, picking up a rattler snake, jumping off the side of a building, or other foolish things that you can think of.
- The Hebrew verb yare can mean “to fear, to respect, to reverence”
- The Greek noun phobos can mean “reverential fear” of God, “not a mere ‘fear’ of His power and righteous retribution, but a wholesome dread of displeasing Him”.
- This is the type of positive, productive fear Luke describes in the early New Testament Church:
Acts 9:31… “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied”
One resource includes this helpful summary: “The fear of God is an attitude of respect, a response of reverence and wonder. It is the only appropriate response to our Creator and Redeemer”
- Worthy of Reverence; Reverential Trust; showing respect
- Acknowledging His Existence
- Accepting and allowing His Sovereignty
- Wanting to know him intimately
- True piety and hatred of evil (Prov. 1:7; Job 28:28; Ps. 19:9).
- Godly fear comes to us when we come into relationship with God and His holiness is revealed to us.
- It is a fear conjoined with love and hope, and is therefore not a slavish dread,
- Not being careless in matters concerning the Lord, (Enthusiasm; Tithing; Worship; fasting; prayer; seeking forgiveness….)
- Godly fear is not a paralyzing terror, nor a slavish fear
Scripture is full of examples of how fearing God is a positive rather than a negative thing. For example
- In Genesis 42:18, Joseph wins his brothers’ trust when he declares he is a God-fearing man.
- Regarding Job, the Lord acknowledges that Job was God-fearing.
Job 1:1, 8; 2:3 … ..This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He maintains his integrity. There is no one on earth like him
- It was because the midwives feared God that they obeyed him instead of the authorities by sparing the Hebrew babies (Exodus 1:17).
- Abraham Feared God – When you fear God, you will not withhold anything from Him
Genesis 22:12… “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
- In Ezra, fear of man did not stop them from worshiping God
Ezra 3:3… Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.
- Pharaoh brought disaster on his nation because he did not fear God (Exodus 9:29-31).
- Moses chose leaders to help him on the basis that they feared God and wouldn’t take bribes (Exodus 18:21) and told the Hebrews that God met with them in a terrifying display of his power so that they wouldn’t sin (Exodus 20:20).
The Fear of the Lord is pure
Psalms 19: 9… The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
Fear of the Lord is clean, holy and pure – It is not the same as all the fears we have in this world
- When a child is afraid of the dark…he is afraid that something would come out and harm
- We are fearful of sickness; Fear of losing our jobs; Fear of accidents; New drivers who are learning to drive; Fear when we try to teach others how to drive
Fear of the Lord is Pure – It is for our good and not for our harm. Fearing the Lord is not like fears of this world. When on one side the fears of this world drive us away from the source, the Pure and holy fear of the Lord actually pulls us towards Him. (eg..Fear of fire)
Fear him, love him and serve him only with all your heart and soul.
Deuteronomy 6:13… Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (Fear the Lord)… And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
1 Samuel 12:24… But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
2 Chronicles 19:7-9… 7 Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” 8 In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the Lord and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem. 9 He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.
Joseph was a not only a man of Integrity but was also a god–fearing person.
Genesis 39:4-6 … 4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. 6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife also saw these characteristics in Joseph and was attracted to him. She asked him to “lie with her”. Not only did she do this once, but the Bible says she did this daily (day after day). Joseph’s response the first time showed his integrity.
Genesis 39:7-12… 7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. 11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
Joseph (from the book of Genesis) was a not only a man of Integrity but was also a god–fearing person. Success nor circumstances neither could corrupt Joseph or change his knowledge and awareness about his God: He was a quick learner, he had to learn the new culture, new language, new trades, …etc, but he knew that no matter what changed, his God was unchanging and that his righteous standards do not change with circumstances. It was easier to sleep with Potiphar’s wife, good for his career, yet he knew that when we sin, we sin against God. He had to flee the house of Potiphar no matter what the consequence would be. Joseph wasn’t just worried about Potiphar finding out. He was worried about having to live with himself, knowing that God would know what he had done.
Joseph was able to hold on to his integrity and character because he feared God. God gave him success wherever he went
Genesis 39:20-23… 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
Genesis 41:39-45… 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. 44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,[d] to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.
Psalms 91:14… “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
Why should I fear God?
- We are in a covenantal relationship with a sovereign and jealous God – he deserves our exclusive wholehearted surrender.
- He has bought me, I belong to him. He owns me. I have been fearfully and wonderfully made.
- He has the power to forgive my sins and give me eternal life
- He has the power to forgive: Forgiveness and the fear of the Lord
Psalm 130:3-4… 3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you
Matthew 10:28… Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
2 Corinthians 5:10-11… 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
God’s offer of forgiveness to those who repent gives us a reason to fear—a reason to change. It also gives us a reason to be eternally grateful and to grow in love to be more like our loving God!
Fear of the Lord is Key to Holy Living, hating evil and walking uprightly:
Exodus 20:18-20… When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
Proverb 8:13… to fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Proverbs 14:2… Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly, but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
Proverbs 14:16… The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.
Proverb 16: 6… Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil. (evil is avoided)
- Lack of fear for God promotes sin and evil
- Fear of God will keep us from sin – caving into our own sinful nature
Fear of the Lord is what encourages us to praise and worship Him
Psalm 22:23… You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
Will avoid all extremes
Ecclesiastes 7:18… Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
Helps us to submit to one another:
Ephesians 5:21 – Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
New American Standard Bible – and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Song: If you wanna be great, in God’s Kingdom. Learn to be the servant of all.
Greater responsibility and use in the kingdom of God
Exodus 18:21.. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
Nehemiah 7:2… I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do.
It will draw others to a loving God
Psalm 40:1-4… 1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. 4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.
What are the benefits of fearing Him?
Blessing, riches, honor, life, key to treasure
Psalm 128:1… blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.
Proverbs 22:4… Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.
Isaiah 33:6… He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
Psalm 112:1… Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.
Psalm 67:7… May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Psalm 61:5… You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Blessing to our household
Psalm 128:1-6… 1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. 2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord. 5 May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. 6 May you live to see your children’s children— peace be on Israel
Mercy extends from generation to generation
Luke 1:50… His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He fulfills our desires of those who fear him
Psalm 145:19… He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
Counsel, instruction and direction for those who fear God – The Lord confides in them
Psalm 25:12-14… 12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose. 13 They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land. 14 The Lord confides (reveal, disclose, tell, intimate, trusts, tell a secret or private matter) in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
Confides: reveal, disclose, tell, intimate, trusts, tell a secret or private matter
Life rest and contentment
Proverbs 19:23… The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content (sleep satisfied), untouched by trouble.
Fear of the Lord is key to Godly Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding:
Proverb 9:10… The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverb 1:7… The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Psalm 111:10… The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
Worldly wisdom is all about understanding the creation, and ways to undermine the role of a creator. Godly wisdom is more about understanding the very creator and seeing the creation through the almighty’s eyes and hearts. Seeing things according to God’s prospective.
Fear the Lord by keeping all His decrees and commands – So it might go well with us and increase
Deuteronomy 5:29… Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
Deuteronomy 6:1-3… Love the Lord Your God. These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
God’s love and compassion for those who fear Him
Psalm 103:11… For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
Psalm 103:13… As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
Psalm 103:17… But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—
Fear of the Lord is the key to Devine Protection and Provision
Proverbs 14:26-27… 26 Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress (strong confidence; Protection for our Earthly Living ), and for their children it will be a refuge (place of refuge; Protection for our Godly Living ). 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life (Provision for our Material Needs), turning a person from the snares of death (Provision for our Spiritual Needs).
Psalm 31:19… How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.
Psalms 33:17-20… 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
Psalms 34:7-11… 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Psalm 111:5… He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.
Psalm 115:11-13… 11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord— he is their help and shield. 12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us: He will bless his people Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, 13 he will bless those who fear the Lord— small and great alike.
Fear of the Lord Prolongs life: gives an end befitting a saint
Proverb 10:27… The fear of the LORD adds length to life (prolongs life), but the years of the wicked are cut short.
When we fear the Lord, He will cause others to fear and respect you!!
1 Kings 8:41-43… 39 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart), 40 so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors. 40 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you (acknowledge and respect you), as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
1 Chronicles 14:17… So David’s fame spread throughout every land, and the Lord made all the nations fear him.
2 Chronicles 20:29… The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.
Am I God-fearing? How can I fear him more?
A man that will repent at the word of God is a god fearing man. Be not deceived; any man who has not turned from his sinful life is not God fearing. No man, continuing in sin can be said to be a God fearing man.
Analogy of Fire: We can see it, we can feel it, We can experience it if not careful
Some fear the Lord
- When we see Him: Through nature, Prayer, Reading & listening of the word of God,
- We feel Him: Praise & worship, Blessings of God, When God speaks to us, when he corrects us, The way God leads us
- We experience Him: Healing, Leading sinners to salvation – seeing the repentant heart who has just found Jesus as a savior
Love Him; Acknowledge & Value His presence
The reverential fear of the Lord is designed to help us grow to become more like God—to grow in love. And this growth removes any need to be terrified of God’s judgment. As the apostle John put it:
1 John 4:17-18… 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear (phobos) has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
phobos in verse 18 means “slavish fear … which is not to characterize the Christian’s relation to God.” The same shade of meaning is applied to the word fear in Romans 8:15
Romans 8:15… The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear (greek: phobos) again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Though we are to voluntarily yield ourselves as bond servants or slaves to God, He is not an abusive, cruel slave driver who terrorizes and torments us, which is the point of this verse.
Some misunderstand and think that love casts out not only fear but law. However, John explains that God’s laws actually define God’s love:
1 John 5:3… In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
This connection between God’s love and His 10 Commandments is also made clear in Paul’s writings and the Gospels
Romans 13:9-10… 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Matthew 22:37-40… 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
God wants His laws written on our hearts. For example, even if we had no fear of being caught, we should choose to never steal from others—because we love them and God. We must never lose our respect and appreciation for God, but we should grow beyond being motivated solely by fear and rather be motivated by God’s love—having a deep love and respect for God and His words. A different Greek word for fear is found in
2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear (greek: deilia – cowardice, timidity, fearfulness), but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Do everything for God out of love for Him (Giving, worshiping, praising, serving, praying …everything) not expecting anything in return
Deepen your awareness of His presence around you.
The fear of the Lord is an awareness that you are in the presence of a holy, just, and almighty God and that He will hold you accountable for your motives, thoughts, words, and actions. To fear God is to desire to live in harmony with His righteous standards and to honor Him in all that you do.
Have a steady and healthy relationship with Him. Godly fear comes to us when we come into relationship with God and His holiness is revealed to us.
Acknowledge, accept and allow His sovereignty in your life
Read and respect God’s word – live according to it
Having a high regard for the Bible, the Word of God, is an essential part of growing in the fear of the Lord. When we take time to read Scripture and commit to applying its universal, non-optional truths, we learn more about the nature of God, His ways, and our role as His creatures.
All the people of Israel were to gather to hear the Word of God so that they would learn to fear Him.
Deuteronomy 31:12-13… Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Deuteronomy 4:10… Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.”
Deuteronomy 8:6… Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.
The kings of Israel were required to write out a copy of God’s Law and to spend time each day reading it so they would learn to fear God.
Deuteronomy 17:15-19… 15 be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. ….18 when he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees
Today, Christians are “kings and priests unto God” (Revelation 1:6). We are to understand the worth of Scripture and to study it and apply it to our lives.
1 Peter 2:9… Chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession
2 Timothy 3:16-17… 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Seek Godly Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding
Proverb 2:1-6…1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding
Cultivate a pure heart. Hold him dear to your heart
Jeremiah 32:39-40… 39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.
Psalms 51:10… Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me
- Keep all his decrees and commands (Deuteronomy 6:1-3)
- By serving him only. Undivided and pure heart (Deuteronomy 6:13)
Consider God’s Creation:
When we look around at God’s creation—the majesty of towering mountains, the expanse of oceans with their high tides and low tides, the intricacy of delicate flowers, the brilliance of the sun, and the glory of our galaxy—we can catch a glimpse of how awesome our God is! The psalmist David often expressed his awe of God by meditating on God’s handiwork.
Psalm 19:1-4… 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Psalm 8:3-4… 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
When God gave His Law to the nation of Israel, He first revealed His mighty power through nature so that the people would learn to fear Him.
Exodus 20:18-20.. 18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
The Apostle Paul also recognized that God reveals His power to mankind through His creation
Romans 1:19-20… 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Never take him lightly
Daniel 5:1-6 (The writing on the wall; King Belshazzar)… 5 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. 2 While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 3 So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone. 5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.
Daniel 5:17-28… 17 Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means. 18 “Your Majesty, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. 19 Because of the high position he gave him, all the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled. 20 But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes. 22 “But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. 24 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription. 25 “This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin 26 “Here is what these words mean:
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
Joshua 4:23-24… For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”
Joshua 24:14-15.. “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Give a Tithe of Your Increase
Along with supporting the work of the local church, one of the purposes of giving a tithe is to learn to fear the Lord. Part of walking in the fear of the Lord is acknowledging that God is in control of every aspect of our lives, including our resources.
Ecclesiastes 12:13… Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
Proverbs 15:33… Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.
Proverbs 15:16… Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.
Teach me O Lord!!
Psalm 86:11… Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Psalm 147:11… the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Teach your children how to fear God
Psalms 34:11… Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.