The Only Right Fear

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. Psalm 33:8

One of Jesus’ most cryptic teachings is found in His words to the scribes and Pharisees: “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge” (Luke 11:52). Jesus didn’t say specifically what the “key of knowledge” was. But wouldn’t it be good to know?

The clue to the key may be found in Isaiah 33:6—a verse Jesus may have had in mind: “Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord is His treasure.” Interestingly, one modern translation says, “The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure [of wisdom and knowledge]” (NIV). Could the fear of the Lord be the key to gaining wisdom and knowledge about God and living rightly with Him? Scripture seems to think so, as described in Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 2:5, 9:10,14:26-27, 19:23. In fact, we are to be “zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day” (Proverbs 23:17).

Honor, reverence, awe, submission, obedience—all these characterize the fear of the Lord. Fearing the Lord is the only right fear.

The fear of the Lord is not just the end of wisdom but its beginning.  Edmund P. Clowney


Psalm 33 • What is Worship?

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