The fear of God finds its context in the everlasting gospel as expressed in the book of Revelation. “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of waters’ ” (Revelation 14:6, 7).
Rarely do we equate fear with wisdom. Even more rare is it to suggest that fear is more precious than gold and more unreachable than the birds of the air. The beloved disciple of Jesus famously said, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). Yet the everlasting gospel in Revelation 14 calls God’s people to fear Him.
More than twenty passages in Scripture speak to the fear of God and wisdom. What did Bible writers mean when they encouraged us to fear God? We must first note two types of fear—one that should be embraced and the other rejected.
The Bible commends Moses as a person of faith because “he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27). In this case, Moses was unfazed by the present reality that endangered his life. Instead, because he had seen the invisible God, the visible danger before him did not frighten him.
In Leviticus 19:3, God counseled His people, “Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father.” Some Bible versions translate “revere” as “fear.” This kind of fear is not inspired by frightful circumstances or an inability to see God. Instead, it is obedience to the commandment of God, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Ex. 20:12).
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom because it admits several important things about God and about the human condition. Although fearing God implies standing in awe of who He is and reverently obeying Him because He is the great Creator of heaven and earth, it also recognizes the various beautiful nuances of His character. In the next section, notice the various texts and see how they connect with the fear of God in for you to order to gain a more complete picture of the beauty of fearing God.