The Humility in the Fear of the Lord

Why the World Needs to Fear God

Study Series on the Fear of God

Proverbs 22:4


Pastor Craig Ledbetter

DATE: 12 Oct, 2008 AM

PLACE: Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.        Introduction


A.      New series this month.

B.      The entire year we have been focusing on knee exercises – bowing the knee that is. Learning how to live the yielded life towards God

C.      This month we are looking at another attitude that is vital in bowing the knee – that if the fear of God

D.      We spend too much time worrying about what people think

E.       What does God think, and more importantly, what should our attitude be towards God’s power – He is GOD last time I checked!

F.       Three things we will look at this month:


1.       The Humility in the Fear of the Lord

2.       The Honour of the Fear of the Lord

3.       The Horrors of Not Fearing the Lord


G.      This morning I want to show you TWO vital ingredients to worship that will either make or break our relationship with God


1.       Humility

2.       AND a Proper Fear of God


H.      In this day and age, the fear of God is almost completely GONE, and so people fear almost everything else: fear of the dark, fear of failure, fear of being fat, fear of ridicule, fear of germs, fear of alien abductions, fear of bugs, fear of rejection, fear of losing your hair, fear of nightmares, fear of Satan and demons, fear of black cats, fear of enemies, fear of ghosts, fear of the future, and even the fear of being hurt in relationships!

I.        It’s funny how one single proper fear can fix all those messed up fears… The fear of the Lord!


II.      Message


A.      Nobody Wants to Fear the Lord Anymore (Psalm 36:1; Proverbs 1:29)


1.       The ungodly obviously do not fear God

2.       People do not talk about God like He is in charge, like He is watching, like He will actually judge the world

3.       People have been lulled to sleep by misinformation and lies about God


a.       Told that God just loves everybody (which is true, but not like most people think)

b.       Told that there is no hell

c.        Told that a loving God would never send anyone to hell

d.       People only think the fear of God is an ancient way of looking at worship

e.        But, it is one of the most important missing ingredients in worship


4.       How do I know people don’t fear God?


a.       They carry anger and bitterness for YEARS against their husbands and wives

b.       People have no concern for the sinful habits that they just think are normal and not that bad

c.        People use their mouth to tear down and destroy others

d.       They use language to only dishonour God

e.        They live like there is no tomorrow

f.        They could care less about Jesus!


B.      Yet, Who Wouldn’t Fear God? (Jeremiah 10:6,7; Revelation 15:4)


1.       He is Lord – in Charge (Isa 44:24)


a.       He is in charge of the universe

b.       Cross His laws, and you get a nuclear explosion; divorce, riots, wars and economic meltdowns

c.        Work with His laws and you fly, and swim, and can travel to the Moon. You have long life, blessed marriages, souls saved, and sound minds!

d.       Who wouldn’t fear the Being that is ultimately in charge of this universe? I would!


2.       He is Right (Exodus 15:26)


a.       Never unfair, but rather absolutely right

b.       He is always right – He has never made a mistake

c.        What is right is right because God defined it as right

d.       What is wrong is because God said it was wrong

e.        Not arbitrary, and defined on a whim, but absolutely right

f.        And also VERY merciful, and full of grace - thankfully


3.       He is Judge


a.       God made the rules, not your parents, or the Church, or some government official

b.       Examples


1)       Judged Adam and Eve and kicked them out of Eden

2)       Judged Sodom and Gomorrah for the wicked sin of homosexuality and paedophilia

3)       Judged the whole world by a flood in Noah’s day because of their violence and hatred of God

4)       Judged His own people with the Babylonians 2600 years ago because of their idolatry

5)       HEY! You want to try and find fault with God, you will only find perfection, and fault in yourself!


c.        The Lord will judge you and me. 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10, 12

d.       The Lord will expose all my secret sins. Luke 8:17; 12:3

e.        He cannot overlook sin – He can overlook the sinner if a substitute has been found to be punished for his sins (Jesus)


4.       Who wouldn’t Fear God, if they only knew who they were dealing with?


a.       He is the One who made us – not we ourselves

b.       The One who made the world

c.        The One who made the entire universe, from the atoms up

d.       The One who hears every idle word

e.        The One who knows our every lustful thought

f.        The One who sees every selfish, self-serving action

g.        Would you not worry about someone like that?

h.       That’s why the Bible says over and over, it is SO smart to fear God! It is actually the wisest thing you can do! It is the beginning of learning! It needs to be in our homes from the earliest ages!


C.      What is The Fear of the Lord?


1.       Simple Definition: "The continual awareness that I am in the presence of a holy, just and Almighty God, and that my every thought, word, and action is open before Him and will be judged by Him."

2.       The Fear of the Lord is More than Simple Respect or “Reverence”


a.       There is respect that exists between two equals: two friends, husband and wife, neighbours – that is “respect”

b.       There is a different kind of respect that should exist for a higher power


1)       Like towards a Highway Garda – notice how quickly the foot goes off the accelerator when you just glimpse a Garda car up ahead!

2)       Notice how well people dress and act when they are brought into a courtroom just before they are sentenced – very polite and well dressed because they KNOW that THAT judge has the POWER to throw them into jail and throw away the key!

3)       When we were young, we not only respected our parents, we feared them, because they had power! Maybe your parents abused their power, but parents are supposed to have power over the lives of their kids!


c.        When we speak of the God of heaven, we need to acknowledge the kind of Power that he has


1)       He is not “the man upstairs”

2)       He is NOT sleeping, lazy, inattentive, uncaring, unfair, or preoccupied

3)       He is perfectly right, and absolutely sovereign

4)       He does not act on a whim, but based on righteousness


3.       Describing Real Godly Fear


a.       It is a Real Terror (2 Cor 5:11; Rev 1:12-17; Psalm 38:1,2; )


1)       Definition - The most extreme of degree of fear. It disables the one who experiences it totally, leaving the person with neither physical strength or mental ability. This is the type of fear that the Apostle John had when he saw the reality of God.


b.       It is a Real Fright (Mark 4:37-41)


1)       Definition - "to shrink with fear"

2)       This was experienced by the disciples when Jesus calmed the sea.

3)       They at first were terrified of the danger that they were in

4)       THEN, after Jesus calmed the storm instantaneously, they were MORE in fear of Jesus! Amen!

5)       Not that they wanted to flee, but they wanted to know WHY such a powerful Being would want to be with them!?


c.        It is a Trembling (Daniel 5:1-5)


1)       Definition - to shake involuntarily, to quiver or to quake.

2)       A good example of this is Belshazzer and the writing on the wall found in the book of Daniel.

3)       Belshazzar never feared his flase gods of gold and silver

4)       Belshazzar now greatly trembled at the thought that there was truly an all powerful God that was just about to judge both him, and his empire!


d.       It is a Proper Dread (Isaiah 6:1-5; 8:13)


1)       Definition - Intense uneasiness because of imminent danger

2)       A good example of this is when Isaiah saw his sinful condition in the presence of a Holy and just God. This account is found in Isaiah chapter 6.


4.       Proper Fear - The Above are all Right Attitudes Towards God


a.       Fear crossing Him and His commandments


1)       Go ahead and break His commandments – see how long you live

2)       Go ahead and live like there is no God

3)       Go ahead and hate God, and create your own religion, and worship any old way you want, and see just how low you will go!


b.       Fear facing Him without an ability to pay for your sins

c.        Fear being justly placed in the devil’s hell for all eternity (Luke 12:4,5)

d.       There Is A Proper Kind of Fear of the Lord:


1)       Solomon Taught About The Fear Of The LORD (Ecclesiastes 8:12,13)

2)       Jesus Taught About The Fear Of The LORD (Matthew 10:28)

3)       Peter Taught About The Fear Of The LORD (Acts 10:34-35; 1Peter 2:17)

4)       Paul Taught the Fear of the Lord (2Cor 7:1)

5)       Bible believing Churches LIVE in the right kind of the fear of God (Acts 9:31)

6)       It is the ONLY way to live (Colossians 3:22)

7)       And it is the only way to worship


D.      How Does the Fear of the Lord Fit in Worship?


1.       Most people think only LOVE is the main ingredient in Worship


a.       It is A main ingredient

b.       But without proper fear, then worship is only a show – a fraud


2.       You cannot Worship and Love God without proper fear (Psalm 33:8,9; Isaiah 11:1,2, the Holy Spirit is the Fear of the Lord)

3.       If you do not fear God, then you are only spinning your wheels, wasting your time being religious, and putting on a show

4.       Listen to how important the Fear of God is to WORSHIP


a.       Psa 33:18  Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

b.       Psa 22:23  Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

c.        Psa 96:9  O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.


5.       Funny how people want to worship with love, and prayers, and money, and feelings, while God is looking at our approach towards Him!

6.       It goes hand in hand with our trust in God

7.       The fear of God does not drive a believer away from God (only stubbornness, and a guilty conscience does), it actually helps us to trust him


a.       Psa 31:19  Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

b.       Psa 115:11  Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.


E.       Fear, Together with Humility is the ONLY way to Worship (1Peter 5:5)


1.       This is why most of modern worship is a sham, a fraud, an act – it is not genuine, and it is why most children don’t follow their parents in worship – because the adults don’t fear God at all!

2.       God Resisteth the proud – rejects absolutely all worship, prayer, needs of a proud, haughty, selfish, arrogant, conceited, pompous, egotistical, big-headed human – no matter how sincere they may seem to be!

3.       That’s why Jesus said you cannot worship God if you have AUGHT against anybody (Matthew 11:25,26)! Period!


F.       How to Humbly Fear God


1.       Believe your Bible


a.       Believe that GOD is GOD and not your boss, or your mother, or your friends, or your money, or yourself

b.       Believe He is aware of everything you do, and you think, and you say

c.        Believe that He will judge us – not slipping by


2.       Mortify Your Pride


a.       The one thing that stops us from fearing God is our idea that we are more right than He is

b.       Better be quick to crucify that self righteous attitude that constantly says, God I’ll worry about you later – I have a fight to win!

c.        When you are in an argument, or in a temptation to sin, you had better remember that the wages of EVERY sin is death (God is not mocked)


3.       Make things Right everywhere and with everyone – period

4.       Fear the results of your wrong choices


a.       You have a free will to choose what you want

b.       But you cannot choose the results of your choices

c.        If you choose to reject Christ, you will go to hell

d.       If you choose to commit adultery, you cannot choose the repercussions of that choice – which will be an early death


5.       Learn the words which the Lord uses in the Bible to describe the fear which we should have for Him.



a.       Terror

b.       Fright

c.        Trembling

d.       Dread


6.       Become like a little child again, and just trust God to change you as you humble yourself before in fear and trembling

7.       Believe me, THAT is the only person who ever experiences the GRACE, and MERCY, and most of all, the Loving-kindness of the Lord


III.   Conclusion