The Fear of the Lord - Part 1

Proverbs 8:13 (HUSB) To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.


Proverbs 8:13 (Amplified Bible) “The [reverent] fear and worshipful awe of the LORD includes the hatred of evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, And the perverted mouth, I hate.


My Notes: What does it mean to fear the Lord? It really comes down to having reverence, respect, trust and holy awe towards the one who created us, gave us this life and the very air we breathe. The fear of the Lord is the chemistry between Love and Obedience. You cannot do one without doing the other. Jesus said it best when he told his disciples, “If you love Me, obey my commandments.” (John 14:15). There are no alternatives around this verse. You cannot say that you love God and then continue to disobey all his commandments. That would simply imply that you don’t fear God. What does it mean to hate evil? Let’s first understand the word evil in its proper context. What is evil? Just like darkness is not a thing in its own but the absence of something else that is light. In a similar manner, evil is not something on its own. It is the absence of what is good. To define evil in its simplest form according to the Bible would be to say that evil is a violation of God’s word. It is a violation of God’s commandments. It is a violation of what God considers right and holy. It is a violation of what the Bible considers right and holy. Always remember, God and His Word (The Holy Bible) are one. The two cannot be separated. To obey GOD is to obey His WORD. Now that we have the meaning of evil squared away, let’s answer the question of what it means to hate evil? To hate evil is to hate, reject, not do anything that God hates, rejects and does not allow. In the Bible, evil and sin, thou they come from two different words are almost used as synonyms. We can rightfully conclude that to hate evil is to hate sin. What does it really mean when the Bible says that someone has sinned? It simply implies that that person has missed the mark that God set or His Word set. They failed to meet the requirement that God or His word has established. Now to understand sin in context, it is very important to define it properly. According to the Bible, there are only two kinds of sin. Scholars and theologians after studying the Bible have concluded that all commandments of God can be easily categorized into two different types or kinds, “thou shall” and “thou shall not”. The first type or kind of sin is called sins of commission. Now you may quickly recall from the last chapter of the two Gospels namely Mark and Matthew about the Great Commission. Jesus instructed His disciples to go out into the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Sins of Commission deals with God telling you to do something and you don’t do it. I like to call these kinds of sins “thou shall” sins. You may recall from the ten commandments that God gave the Jews some “thou shall” commandments and some “thou shall not” commandments. From this, you may have already concluded that the second kind of sin happens when Gods tells you not to do something and you do that something. These are called Sins of Omission. I like to call these “thou shall not” sins. The ten commandments has very good examples of these two kinds of sins. Let’s take a quick look at the ten commandments and classify what kind of sin is committed when each one is broken.


The Ten Commandments were written by God upon two tablets of stone and then given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The record of the Ten Commandments can be found in the Bible, both in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.


1.   You shall have no other gods before Me.

2.   You shall make no idols.

3.   You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

4.   Keep the Sabbath day holy.

5.   Honor your father and your mother.

6.   You shall not murder.

7.   You shall not commit adultery.

8.   You shall not steal.

9.   You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10.         You shall not covet.


-       Whenever a commandment is broken which uses the word no or not in it, it is usually classified as a sin of omission.  

-       Breaking a commandment which does not contain no or not is usually considered a sin of commission.


Proverbs 1:7 KJVS The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.


Bible Study Notes: The fear of the LORD means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the LORD” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.


Bible Study Notes: Now we come to the key verse of the book (see also 9:10). The fear of the LORD is the beginning or chief part of knowledge. If a man wants to be wise, the place to begin is in reverencing God and in trusting and obeying Him. What is more reasonable than that the creature should trust his Creator? On the other hand, what is more illogical than for a man to reject God’s Word and to live by his own hunches? The wise thing to do is to repent of one’s sins, trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and then live for Him wholeheartedly and devotedly.

Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Just as a wise man in this book is one who is willing and anxious to learn, a fool is one who cannot be told anything. He is intractable and conceited, and only learns lessons the hard way, if at all.


Bible Study Notes: There is an interesting contrast here: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” They do not learn from it.

I heard a little bit of nonsense to illustrate this. A man driving down the highway had a flat tire, so he pulled over to the side of the road. It happened he was parked by an insane asylum, and one of the men from the asylum was on the other side of the fence. He was watching the man as he changed the tire. He didn’t say anything but just stood there and watched. As the man took off the wheel of the car, he placed all the nuts that he had taken off into the hubcap. Then he accidentally tilted the hubcap so all the nuts fell out and went down into a sewer, and he couldn’t retrieve them. He stood there scratching his head wondering what in the world he was to do. The man behind the fence who had been watching him said, “Why don’t you take a nut off each of the other wheels and put them on this wheel? You could drive safely down to the filling station, and there you can buy nuts so that you can fix your wheel.” The man looked at him in amazement. “Why didn’t I think of that?” he asked. “You are in the institution and I am out, and yet you are the one who thought of it.” The onlooker answered. “I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid!” Well, this Book of Proverbs is attempting to get you and me out of a position of being stupid in life today. I think we shall find it to be a great help to us. This book has quite a bit to say about stupidity, as we shall see.


Bible Study Notes: One of the most annoying types of people is the know-it-all, the person who has a dogmatic opinion about everything, is closed to anything new, resents discipline, and refuses to learn. Solomon calls this kind of person a fool. Don’t be a know-it-all. Instead, be open to the advice of others, especially those who know you well and can give you valuable insight and counsel. Discover what others have to teach you; learn how to learn from others. Remember, only God knows it all.


Proverbs 8:13 KJVS

[13] The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.


Bible Study Notes: We might translate it as “the mouth of perversions do I hate.” This is something that is quite real today; it is right down where we live. Wisdom is manifest. It is the character of God, and that character has been revealed in Christ. Evil, pride, arrogance, and an evil way are hateful to Him. If we belong to Him, we will hate these things also.


Bible Study Notes: The more a person fears (reveres) and respects God, the more he or she will hate evil. Love for God and love for sin cannot coexist. Harboring secret sins means that you are tolerating evil within yourself. It may seem safe for a while, but sin will ultimately strangle you. Make a clean break with sin and commit yourself completely to God. If you are not laser focused on moving toward a deeper relationship with God, then you are actually moving away from him.


Proverbs 9:10 MEV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.


Bible Study Notes: Once again we are reminded that the starting point for all true wisdom is in the fear of the LORD. “To know the Deity is what knowledge means” (Moffatt). Because he knows the Holy, a true believer can see more on his knees than others can see on their tiptoes.

The Holy One (plural) may be the plural of majesty, excellence, and comprehensiveness, or it may modify Elohim (understood), a plural word for God.


Bible Study Notes: Perhaps you are saying, We’ve had this verse before. Yes, when the little fellow was in the home, the first lesson he was given was the fear of the Lord. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7). Now he has entered the college of life and the college of wisdom; he is in his freshman year of the university of understanding, and this is his first lesson: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” That is where we all start. If you haven’t started there, you haven’t started, my friend. A man is a fool (which is what this book will say) to live without God in this world.

In our contemporary society we are so concerned with safety—safety on the highway, safety in the home, security in old age. We carry insurance for all these things, and we make sure our premiums are paid up. That is the wise thing to do. But, my brother, what about eternity? Are you making any plans; do you have insurance for that? Oh, how foolish it is to live this life without God! “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”


Proverbs 10:27 KJVS The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.


Bible Study Notes: This certainly was true in Old Testament days. God promised long days to those who obeyed Him. Perhaps you are thinking, Doesn’t He promise that today? No, He promises us eternal life. That will be a better quality of life as well as quantity.


Proverbs 14:26 KJVS In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.


Bible Study Notes: The man who fears the LORD has every reason to have strong confidence. If God is for him, no one can be successfully against him (Rom. 8:31). That man’s children will have a place of refuge under God’s wings when evil attacks.


Proverbs 14:27 KJVS The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.


Bible Study Notes: Trust in God is a source of spiritual strength and vitality, enabling one to avoid the snares of death.


Bible Study Notes: To teach the fear of the Lord was the object of the Holy Spirit all the way through the Book of Proverbs.


Proverbs 15:33 KJVS The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.


Bible Study Notes: The fear of the LORD is the discipline that leads to wisdom. Humility is the way to honor.


Bible Study Notes: The important lesson for man to learn is to come with humility to learn of God. We all need that lesson.


Proverbs 19:23 KJVS The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.


Bible Study Notes: The fear of the LORD is the pathway to life. The one who has it has every reason to be satisfied. He will not be overtaken with calamity.


Bible Study Notes: The fear of the Lord does not mean that you are cringing, constantly in dread, living a life of terror. This proverb makes it clear that the real fear of God means that you can rest satisfied. It means that you recognize Him, you have looked to Him, you have accepted Him, and you want to follow Him. Now you can rest satisfied.


Bible Study Notes: Those who trust and fear the Lord are protected from harm because of their healthy habits and life choices, and sometimes through God’s direct intervention. Nevertheless, the fear of the Lord does not always protect us from trouble in this life: Evil things still happen to people who love God. This verse is not a universal promise but a general guideline. It describes what would happen if this world were sinless, and what will happen in the new earth, when faithful believers will be under God’s protection forever. (See the note on 3:16-17 for more about this concept.)