Fearing God is an important concept in the OT. While “fear” can describe terror or dread (Gen 3:10), the OT use of “fear” often indicates awe or reverence. To fear God is to express loyalty to Him and faithfulness to His covenant. Those who fear God exhibit trust in Him and obedience to His commandments. According to the OT, those who fear God obtain God’s protection, wisdom, and blessing.
Custis, M. (2012, 2016). Fearing God in the Old Testament. In Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Men who fear God (Exod. 18:21); may those who fear you see me and rejoice (Ps. 119:74); may those who fear you turn to me (Ps. 119:79); come and hear, all you who fear God (Ps. 66:16); you who fear the Lord, bless the Lord (Ps. 135:20); you who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord (Ps. 115:11); you who fear the Lord, praise him (Ps. 22:23); you who fear him, small and great (Rev. 19:5); for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness will rise (Mal. 4:2); who among you fears the Lord? (Isa. 50:10); I am a companion of all who fear you (Ps. 119:63); servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord (Exod. 9:20); everyone who trembled at the word of the God of Israel (Ezra 9:4); the time for rewarding those who fear your name (Rev. 11:18); men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen (Acts 13:16); sons of Abraham’s family and those who fear God (Acts 13:26).
Day, A. C. (2009). Collins Thesaurus of the Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Out of fear for God we should take His Words at heart. One way of showing our love for His Words is by trying to remember them so that we can tell others about His Word and about reasons why we should fear God more than man.
Ge 20:11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.
Ge 26:24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.
Ge 42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:
Ex 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
Le 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but thou shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
Le 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and thou shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
Le 25:17 And ye shall not wrong one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.
Le 25:36 Take thou no usury of him or increase; but fear thy God: that thy brother may live with thee.
Le 25:43 Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God.
De 6:2 that thou mightest fear the LORD
De 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; and him shalt thou serve, and shalt swear by his name.
De 6:24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as at this day.
De 8:6 And thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
De 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
De 10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve; and to him shalt thou cleave, and by his name shalt thou swear.
De 11:25 There shall no man be able to stand before you: the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath spoken unto you.
De 13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
De 14:23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herd and of thy flock; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
De 17:19 and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
De 28:58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
De 28:67 in the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart which thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
De 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
De 31:12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law;
De 31:13 and that their children, which have not known, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.
Jos 4:24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty; that they may fear the LORD your God for ever.
Jud 6:10 and I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; ye shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not hearkened unto my voice.
1Sa 12:14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and hearken unto his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and both ye and also the king that reigneth over you be followers of the LORD your God, well:
2Sa 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me: One that ruleth over men righteously, that ruleth in the fear of God,
2Ki 17:39 but the LORD your God shall ye fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
2Ch 19:7 Now therefore let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
2Ch 20:29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the countries, when they heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.
Ne 5:9 Also I said, The thing that ye do is not good: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?
Ne 5:15 But the former governors that were before me were chargeable unto the people, and took 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.
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Job 4:6 Is not thy fear of God thy confidence, and thy hope the integrity of thy ways?
Job 15:4 Yea, thou doest away with fear, and restrainest devotion before God.
Job 21:9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.
Ps 14:5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
Ps 36:1 «For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD.» The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, There is no fear of God before his eyes.
Ps 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Ps 53:5 There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee; thou hast put them to shame, because God hath rejected them.
Ps 55:19 God shall hear, and answer them, even he that abideth of old, [[Selah]] the men who have no changes, and who fear not God.
Ps 61:5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.
Ps 64:9 And all men shall fear; and they shall declare the work of God, and shall wisely consider of his doing.
Ps 66:16 Come, and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
Ps 67:7 God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.
Pr 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Ec 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God hath done it, that men should fear before him.
Ec 5:7 For thus it cometh to pass through the multitude of dreams and vanities and many words: but fear thou God.
Ec 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and prolong his days, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:
Ec 12:13 This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.
Isa 35:4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompence of God; he will come and save you.
Isa 41:10 Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have I not declared unto thee of old, and shewed it? and ye are my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no Rock; I know not any.
Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and a bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts.
Jer 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in its season; that reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
Da 6:26 I make a decree, that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end:
Ho 3:5 afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall come with fear unto the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.
Jon 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.
Mic 7:17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent; like crawling things of the earth they shall come trembling out of their close places: they shall come with fear unto the LORD our God, and shall be afraid because of thee.
Hag 1:12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, 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.
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