The Lord favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness.“- {Psalm 147:11}

“For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. The believer’s fear is reverence of God. Hebrews 12:28-29 is a good description of this: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ’God is a consuming fire.’” This reverence and awe is exactly what the fear of God means for Christians. This is the motivating factor for us to surrender to the Creator of the Universe.

“Proverbs 1:7 declares, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” Until we understand who God is and develop a reverential fear of Him, we cannot have true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from understanding who God is and that He is holy, just, and righteous. Deuteronomy 10:1220-21 records, “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” The fear of God is the basis for our walking in His ways, serving Him, and, yes, loving Him.”-{}

The Hebrew word “Yare,”is translated “afraid, frightened, awesome acts, reverence, honor, respect, to stand in awe,” depending on the context.

The word is used in these verses to speak of being afraid terrified

“And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid {“Yare.”} because I was naked; and I hid myself.”-{Genesis 3:10}

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear,{“yare,”}, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.” -{Genesis 15:1}

” Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid  {“Yare”} to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters.”-{Genesis 19;30}

So Isaac [h]lived in Gerar. When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid {“Yare,”} to say, “my wife,” thinking, “[i]the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful.”-{Genesis 26:7}.

” Do not fear {“Yare,”} them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you.’    “-{Deuteronomy 3:22}


Contrast the above, to be afraid, terrified with the verses below which speak of to stand in awe, honor, respect reverence,…

“Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely there is no fear {“Yara”} of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.”-{Gen 20:11} .

“Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear {“Yare,”} Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!”-{Deut 5:29}.

“You shall fear {Yara} only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.”- {Deut 6:24}.

“So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear {“Reverance,”} {“Yare”} the LORD God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today.”- {Deut 8:6}.

“Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear { “Yare,”} the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,”-{Deu 10:12}

“You shall fear {“Yare”} the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.”-{Deut 10:20},

Hopefully you can see how the word “Fear” {Hebrew word, “yare,”} is used in two different ways and it all depends on context, the “fear “of dread, to be afraid, terrified versus the “fear” of reverence, to stand in awe, respect, honor!

“Fearing” Him is more than a “to do,” list of “do’s and don’ts based on being terrified by Him that He is out to get you if you do not keep a perfect standard and perform perfectly, and that is your motivation to “serve” Him, because you wrongly believe He is out to get you if you mess up, or sin. Jesus has taken care of the sin issue. The motivation for serving Him is not being terrified He will hurt you, but that you might offend and hurt Him out of trust and reverential love for Him!

Sometimes we believe that it is our performance that is needed for us to somehow impress Him, and earn and force Him to accept us. That is not His desire or design for us. His is a call to a relationship, a love relationship with Him and our loving Him, respectfully. It is not a fear or terror but a fear of respect, admiration, honor, reverence, out of Love for Him who has loved them, loved us and does love us. It is a desire to obey Him not out of dread but not wanting to sin against Him out of reverence, respect for Him, and to obey Him out of reverence, appreciation, great admiration to stand in awe of Him and find Him awesome, and in Honor to Him so the choice to respect, trust  and “fear” Him!

When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph he refused.”…Now Joseph was well-built and handsome,  and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 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.  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?”  And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.“-{Genesis 39:6-10} .He refused to sin against the LORD and ended up in prison. He “feared” the LORD. He values, esteemed Him above sinful temporal pleasure. His admiration, reverence, respect which He held the LORD in was what swayed His choice!

The Fear of the LORD is not just a respect, reverence, awe of Him but includes submission to Him, as it was in Joseph’s life.