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The Fear of the Lord

by Esther Griggs

When Nehemiah installed leaders, he chose a brother who shared his heart for the people as well as another faithful man who feared the Lord more than most. The fear of the Lord proved significant in Nehemiah’s choice of a leader. To further help us understand the implications therein we search the scriptures. Through them we learn the fear of the Lord is wisdom and knowledge, it prolongs our days, it gives a quality of life and is illustrated in the life of the Messiah. For these reasons it enriches not only a leader but one and all.

Wisdom and Knowledge

We first learn of it in the Wisdom Literature of the Bible. Job, Psalms and Proverbs all speak to how it affects wisdom and knowledge. First, in Job we find that the fear of the Lord is wisdom. Then the Psalmist tells us it is the place wisdom begins. He also tells us it is the beginning of knowledge. Finally in Proverbs we read from a different writer who reiterates it is the place where wisdom begins and that it offers a place for understanding to root.

Prolongs Our Days

Next, in Proverbs, we learn that from it springs a fountain of life. It also prolongs our days. The writer tells us that by it our days are multiplied and years are added to one’s life.

Adds Quality of life

There is a different quality of life for the one who has a fear of the Lord. The Psalmist tells us it is clean, and enduring. It can also be taught and therefore learned. Having it one hates evil. The person who is in this position stands in strong confidence. He who has it will also live in contentment and will not be visited with evil. By possessing it we are told we can receive riches, honour and life. It is an alternative to envy for we can continue in it knowing there is a hereafter and our hope is eternal. In the days of the early church, as they walked in such a manner and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit they were multiplied.

The Messiah

Finally, in the Messiah, a picture shines forth of a life lived this way. Isaiah prophecies of a descendant of Jesse, a branch that will grow out of his roots. He tells us that the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him. The fear of the Lord in fact will be His delight and His treasure.

Although the scriptures tell us over and over again not to fear, we learn there is great value in the fear of the Lord. Through it we receive wisdom and knowledge, length of days, and a unsurpassed quality of life. Above all, the Messiah illustrates to us a life lived with the fear of the Lord as His delight. We know that Nehemiah knew the importance of the fear of God in leadership and we learn to better understand the value of the fear of the Lord in one and all.

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