Fear of God in the Bible

REVERENCE

  • Genesis 35:5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
  • Exodus 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
  • Exodus 20:18-20 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
  • Also Leviticus 22:32; Deuteronomy 4:10; 5:29; 6:2,13; 10:12,20-21; 13:4; 14:23; 28:49,58; Joshua 4:24; 24:14; 1 Samuel 2:30; 12:14,24; 2 Samuel 23:3; 1 Kings 8:40; 2 Kings 17:28,36,39; 1 Chronicles 16:30; 2 Chronicles 19:7,9; Ezra 10:3; Nehemiah 5:9; Job 28:28; 37:24; Psalms 2:11; 4:4; 15:4; 19:9; 22:23,25; 25:12-14; 31:19; 33:8,18; 34:7,9; 46:10; 52:6; 60:4; 64:9; 66:16; 67:7; 72:5; 76:7; 85:9; 86:11; 89:7; 90:11; 96:4,9; 99:1; 102:15; 103:11,17; 111:5,10-112:1; 115:11,13; 118:4; 119:63,74,79; 128:1,4; 130:4; 135:20; 145:19; 147:11; Proverbs 1:7; 2:5; 3:7; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 13:13; 14:2,16,26-27; 15:16,33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17; 24:21; 28:14; 31:30; Ecclesiastes 3:14; 5:7; 7:18; 8:12; 12:13; Isaiah 2:10,19-21; 8:13; 25:3; 29:13,23; 33:6,13; 50:10; 59:19; 60:5; Jeremiah 5:22; 10:7; 32:39-40; 33:9; Isaiah 3:5; Micah 7:16-17; Zephaniah 1:7; 3:7; Zechariah 2:13; Malachi 1:6; 3:16; 4:2; Matthew 10:28; Luke 1:50; 12:5; 23:40; Acts 10:35; 13:16,26; Romans 11:20; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 5:21; 6:5; Philippians 2:12; Colossians 3:22; Hebrews 5:5,7; 12:28-29; James 2:19; 1 Peter 1:17; 2:17-18; 3:2,15; 1 John 4:16-18; Revelation 11:18; 14:7; 19:5.

See also McClintock and Strong Cyclopedia for Fear Of God.

CONSPICUOUS INSTANCES OF THOSE WHO FEARED

Noah, in preparing the ark

  • 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.

Abraham, tested in the offering of his son Isaac

  • Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

Jacob, in the vision of the ladder, and the covenant of God

  • Genesis 28:16-17 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. 17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
  • Genesis 42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:

The midwives of Egypt, in refusing to take the lives of the Hebrew children

  • Exodus 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
  • Exodus 1:21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

The Egyptians, at the time of the plague of thunder and hail and fire

  • Exodus 9:20 He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:

The nine and one-half tribes of Israel west of the Jordan River

  • Joshua 22:15-20 And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spake with them, saying, 16 Thus saith the whole congregation of the LORD, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the LORD, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the LORD? 17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the LORD, 18 But that ye must turn away this day from following the LORD? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to day against the LORD, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel. ...

Phinehas, in turning away the anger of God at the time of the plague

  • Numbers 25:11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.
  • Numbers 25:6-15 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. ...

Obadiah, in sheltering one-hundred prophets against the wrath of Jezebel

  • 1 Kings 18:3-4 And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: 4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

Jehoshaphat, in proclaiming a feast, when the land was about to be invaded by the armies of the Ammonites and Moabites

  • 2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

Nehemiah, in his reform of the public administration

  • Nehemiah 5:15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.

Hanani, which qualified him to be ruler over Jerusalem

  • Nehemiah 7:2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.

Job, according to the testimony of Satan

  • Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

David

  • Psalms 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
  • Psalms 119:38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

Hezekiah, in his treatment of the prophet Micah, who prophesied harm against Jerusalem

  • Jeremiah 26:19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.

Jonah, during the storm

  • Jonah 1:9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

The Jews, in obeying the voice of the Lord

  • Haggai 1:12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.

Levi, in receiving the covenant of life and peace

  • Haggai 1:5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

The women at the grave

  • Matthew 28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

Cornelius, who revered God with all his house

  • Acts 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

See CONVICTION OF SIN

See FAITH

CULTIVATED

  • Exodus 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
  • Exodus 19:12-13 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
  • Also Hebrews 12:18-24.

GUILTY

  • Job 5:20-25 In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. 21 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. 22 At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. 23 For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. ...
  • Also Job 18:11; Proverbs 1:24-27; 10:24; Daniel 5:6; James 2:19.

INSTANCES OF GUILTY FEAR

Adam and Eve

  • Genesis 3:8-13 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? ...

The guards at Jesus' tomb

  • Matthew 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

Judas

  • Matthew 27:3-5 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Demons

  • James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

See CONVICTION, OF SIN

A MOTIVE OF OBEDIENCE

  • Leviticus 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
  • Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
  • Leviticus 25:17 Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.
  • Also Leviticus 25:36,43; Numbers 32:15; Deuteronomy 6:13-15; 7:4; 8:5-6; 10:12-13,20; 13:4,6-11; 14:23; 15:9; 17:11-13; 19:16-20; 21:18-21; 28:14-68; 31:11-13; Joshua 23:11-16; 1 Samuel 12:14-15,24-25; Job 13:21; 31:1-4,13-15,23; Proverbs 16:6; Isaiah 1:20; Jeremiah 4:4; 22:5; Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:4-5; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; 2 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Peter 3:10-12; Revelation 14:9-10.

See PUNISHMENT, DESIGN OF, TO SECURE OBEDIENCE

See REWARD, A MOTIVE FOR FAITHFULNESS

 
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