Fearing the Lord

In my studies yesterday, I came across this article by the great Dutch Reformer Wilhelmus à Brakel on the fear of the Lord. Because Scripture repeatedly shows how important the fear of God is (Ps. 110:11; Prov. 14:26-27) and because fearing the Lord unfortunately sounds dreadful to many, I hope you might enjoy these quotes. 

Fear is either expressive of reverence or terror.


Fear issues forth from love—either for ourselves or for God.


Filial [godly] fear is a holy inclination of the heart, generated by God in the hearts of His children, whereby they, out of reverence for God, take careful pains not to displease God, and earnestly endeavor to please Him in all things. It is a motion of the heart.

Filial fear is engendered by reverence for God. God is the object of this fear…God is eminent, glorious, and majestic within Himself—even if there were no creatures. “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty” (1 Chr. 29:11).

First, we are to be severely reprimanded, if, knowing that God is majestic, having experienced how good it is to humbly walk with the Majestic One, and knowing how invigorating it is to walk in the way of uprightness, we nevertheless neglect to thus focus upon the Lord and fear Him continually.

Secondly, this is followed by a disposition which is yet more evil, namely, when we even proceed to satisfy this lust, doing so not only when our conscience points out its evil, and counsels us not to begin; and upon having begun, counseled us to desist from and subdue the lust, to be silent in the midst of an evil discourse, and to refrain from the sin which we are currently committing; but also when our conscience causes us to reflect upon God and His majesty.

If, however, the fear of man motivates us to do something which is contrary to the fear of God, then we reject the fear of God because of the fear of man.

This is a dreadful sin, for first of all God has forbidden it. “Do not fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell!” (Mt. 10:28).

The livelier the fear of God is—the less power will sin have over you. Therefore in the future commit yourself fully to tenderly fear the Lord your God—in order that the fear of God may guard you and direct your thoughts, words, and deeds.

…the fear of God is the fountain of all the holiness which delights you. Sinful lusts will lose their potency, corruptions which surface will readily be subdued, you will be stopped in the middle of sinning, and you will find yourself inclined toward the practice of all manner of virtues.

…the Lord has pleasure in those who fear Him. It ought to be a very precious matter to us—that God is pleased with us. It ought to be our great desire and earnest endeavor—to be pleasing to the Lord. God is, however, pleased with the fear of God, for therein the acknowledgment and the glorification of His perfections coalesce. “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him” (Psalm 147:11).



  1. FEAR: Fear God, Not Man | End Times Prophecy Report - August 21, 2015

    […] Fearing the Lord […]

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.