Volume. XXXIV, No. 25
Sunday, 22 December 2019

From the Pastor’s Heart: The Fear of the Lord (Part 4)

We will learn about the fear of the Lord by learning from some of the Bible characters.  As I said last week, the fear of the Lord is directly related to our understanding of God.  Thus, the way and manner of our Christian life are directly related to the fear of the Lord in our hearts.  The fear of the Lord is directive in our life.  The Bible characters are good examples of this. 

(1) Abraham had the fear of the Lord.  Genesis 22:12 says, “And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”  Even the angel of the Lord knew that Abraham had a fear of God. (2) Joseph feared the Lord.  Genesis 42:18 says, “And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God.”  It was Joseph’s direct confession.  (3) Job feared the Lord.   Job 1:1 says, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”  It is a description of Job’s character from the Spirit’s perspective.  Job 1:8-9 also says, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?”  God testified of Job’s fear of Him, and Satan did not doubt it.  But rather, he wanted to challenge Job by investigating the motives of his fear of God.  Job 2:3 says, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”  (4) There were Hebrew midwives who were under strict injunction by the Egyptian Pharaoh not to spare Hebrew male babies to live.  However, they feared God more than man.  Exodus 1:15-17-21, “And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.” 

The fear of the Lord and wisdom

Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of everything.  Wisdom presupposes the knowledge of God, without which we cannot build our relationship with Him in the right perspective.  The knowledge of God comes from His own revelation, which is the Bible.  We learn to fear God by knowing His Word.  This process begins with our personal knowledge about God.  This knowledge comes from rebirth.  We must be born from above first.  Without knowing Him, we do not fear Him.  Proverbs 1:29 says, “For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD.”  It must challenge the minds of believers.  Christian faith encourages the believers to know God better and more.  It also tells us that our faith must have its contents.  Faith cannot be vague or obscure.  If faith is not clearly defined by its contents, our faith may not be biblical.  Proverbs 2:5 says, “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”  To understand the fear of the Lord, there has to be some contents to be understood first.  Proverbs 15:33 says, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.”

The fear of the Lord and ethics

The will of God does not aim at the external consecration of the life always, but at the sanctification of the heart and temper (Oehler, 547).  Psalm 139:23 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts (my anxious thoughts in NIV).”  David said in Psalm 51:6, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts (seat of faithfulness, seat of wisdom, or heart of man): and in the hidden part (this word comes from a word meaning “stop up, or shut up.”  It refers to a closed chamber of breast; NIV translates it as the 

inmost place) thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”  This verse probably refers to inward sincerity and purity.  If we consider that Psalm 51 is a penitentiary psalm written by David, we will see that wisdom requires inner cleansing and renewing by penitent confession of sin.  To understand Biblical wisdom in terms of the fear of the Lord, we need to understand that God is the searcher of our hearts and motives.  Proverbs 15:11 says, “Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?”  Proverbs 17:3 says, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”  At the same time, we must know that we cannot judge ourselves but God Himself is the judge.  Proverbs 16:2 says, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”  Proverbs 20:9 says, “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?”  Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”

The fear of the Lord or wisdom requires man to be very ethical.  The ethical principle in Biblical wisdom is not to violate the will of God.  There is fear of violating God’s will in Biblical wisdom.  Thus, confessing sins is a part of the process of becoming wise.  Ecclesiastes 5:1 says, “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.”  Fools are the ones who do not know that they do wrong.  It is no wonder that Proverbs 15:31 says, “The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.”


Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth [perverse speech in NIV], do I hate.”  Job 28:28 says, “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”  Proverbs 16:6 says, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”  Proverbs 14:2 says, “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.”  So far we can find some ethical and moral aspects in the life of the people who fear God.  The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.  The word hate in Proverbs 8:13 refers to the gamut of feelings of dislike.  According to Willem Vangemeren, it may express the most intense hatred.  It also expresses that which is to be avoided.  It is noticeable that this word “hate” is the opposite of “love.”  Its example is found in 2 Samuel 13:15, “Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.”  These two words, hate and love, are often found in antithesis.  For example, Ecclesiastes 3:8 says that there is a time to love and a time to hate.  Therefore, the fear of the Lord is to have a feeling of abhorrence toward sin and iniquity.



Your Pastor



*Editor’s Note: This week’s article is a continuation on the series that was last published (Part 3) on Lively Hope on 20th October 2019.

More Lively Hope



  • Christmas greetings from Sis Ang Liang Phoa & family (Batam); Bro Jose Mangco & family (Cebu).
  • Christmas Day Lunch, Wed, 25 Dec, following Christmas Worship Service. Please inform Dn Ma ASAP of the dish(es) you will be bringing to share.
  • Next Lord Day’s fellowship lunch will be catered.
  • Working Bee this Sat at 10:30 am followed by lunch. Please come help clean our church premises & have fellowship.
  • Watchnight Service, Tue, 31 Dec, 7:30 pm – Please prepare a testimony to share.
  • Hope Bookshop Christmas Cards available for $1 each. Buy 5 get 1 free.
  • Flower Roster for 2020 is available in the Foyer for people to fill in.
  • Daily Manna (Adult & Junior) for Jan-Mar available in the foyer. Donation $1/copy.
  • All fellowship groups are on break until February. For more details, please contact the fellowship group leaders.
  • Lunch Duty: This week: AFG. Next week: VFG


Looking Ahead

  • Watchnight Service, Tue, 31 Dec, 7:30 pm.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • God’s daily guidance, protection & providence.
  • Church activities & visitors in the past week.
  • Firefighters, health care workers and volunteers in the SA fires.
  • Year 12 examination results.
  • IF Carolling on Friday.
  • Journey mercies:  International students; vacationers; others who have travelled.



  • Healing: Rev George van Buuren; Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore); and others in affliction.
  • Comfort for families of victims & those affected by the bushfires in SA, NSW & the White Island volcanic eruption.
  • Missions – Rev Sun Sokha & family & ministry; Air conditioners for worship area of Faith Krang Angkrang Church (PhnomPenh).
  • Batam & Phnom Penh Missions Teams in Jan/Feb 2020 – preparation, planning & fund.
  • Journey mercies: All who are travelling.





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