If you were to ask someone what comes to mind when you hear the word “fear,” most would use examples of having a fear of snakes, heights, or death and so on. The principle being conveyed is one of wanting to stay away from those types of fears. We are scared of those things and thus we want nothing to do with them. However, when the Bible talks of the “fear of the Lord,” a totally different principle or concept is being conveyed. The Bible is God’s Word and in Proverbs 1:7 it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” The Bible is God’s way of revealing Himself to us and also revealing how we can live in a way that is pleasing to Him. It would make no sense if this fear being referred to meant to be “scared of”, thus making us want to stay away from Him, especially when the Bible’s purpose is the exact opposite. Rather, when we take the whole of scripture we see that the fear being referred to is more along the lines of reverential awe. Or to simply be more concerned about what God thinks of your life than anyone else. Thus to fear God in this sense is simply to submit to God, knowing that God’s ways are always better.
To see how scripture clarifies this concept, consider the following verses; In Psalm 112:1 it says, “Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments.” Proverbs 19:23 says, “The fear of the Lord leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.”