The Fear of the Lord
By Dan Vis
October 08, 2017

Note: over the next few weeks we're going to do a three part series on the importance of Bible memorization, all drawn from Revelation 14. For more information about memorization, check out our introductory Crash Course. Then, move on to our life-changing Breakout Challenge--coming soon.

Troubles in this world seem to be accelerating. The recent string of hurricanes and the mass shooting last week in Las Vegas are just two examples of terrible headlines suggesting the return of Christ is drawing near. Politics, technology, economics, and other trends all reinforce that conviction.

Fortunately God has a special message to prepare His endtime people for the coming crisis.

It is found in Revelation 14, where three powerful angels broadcast a message "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (Revelation 14:6And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,). Ultimately, these messages produce a people at last who "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.). And it is just in time. Immediately afterwards, John looks and "behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle" (Revelation 14:14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.).

Clearly it is important to understand these messages!

The message of the first angel begins with these startling words: "Fear God" (Revelation 14:7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.). It's a reminder that God is sovereign and should be given the reverence and respect He deserves as an omniscient and omnipotent being. It's given to a world that seems to have forgotten their moral accountability to their Creator and Judge.

The "Fear of the Lord" is also an important Bible theme. The Bible describes it as both "the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.) and "the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.). Those who possess it come to the place where they are described as hating evil. (Proverbs 8:13The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.). It enables them to escape the snares of the enemy (Proverbs 14:27The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.). And by it, the power of sin is broken (Proverbs 16:6By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.). In fact, we are urged to abide in this experience "all the day long" (Proverbs 23:17Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.).

While there can certainly be an unhealthy fear of God, a proper reverence and respect for God is powerful.

But how can we obtain this experience? The Bible tells us exactly:

Proverbs 2:1-5
1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

The process is clear. We open ourselves to God, internalize His Word (through memorization), actively apply ourselves to understanding and obeying the principles contained within it, and the result is sure. We will come to "understand the fear of the LORD" in due time.

I believe this is one of the most important reasons to memorize Scripture. As we go through our day, the internalized Word comes to mind in all the various situations of life. It is a constant reminder not only of the will of God, but also of the presence of God. Like Elijah, we hear that still small voice speaking to our hearts (I Kings 19:12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.). Like Hagar, we are reminded "Thou God seest me" (Genesis 16:13And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?). That's the fear of the Lord...

To experience this "all the day long" (Proverbs 23:17Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.) we must learn to make Scripture our "meditation all the day" (Psalms 119:97O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.).

We learn to hate evil because the entrance of God's Word gives us the light we need to see sin for what it is (Psalms 119:130The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.). We escape the manifold snares of Satan because meditation on Scripture makes us wiser than our enemies (Psalms 119:98Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.). The power of sin is broken in our lives, because we have hidden Scripture in our hearts (Psalms 119:11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.).

We will come to understand more fully the true fear of the Lord as we grow into a conscious, continuous sense of the will and presence of God. And that growth happens when we begin to memorize Scripture.


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