An Evolution of Fear … of the Lord

Proverbial Thought officially finished going through the book of Proverbs this past Thursday, but it will always contain great commentary and wisdom!

On a similar note, I receive a daily devotional thought every weekday from a great friend. What is amazing about God is that, although I have discipled him, he often challenges me in my walk through his short texts and helps me learn more about following Christ.

Also this past Thursday, he sent out a question as opposed to a typical commentary-type message. Today, I share with you our exchange, only I will put in some the quotes of each verse(s) mentioned.

Ok, so I would like input if anyone gets a chance. I want to hear what your take on the “Fear of the Lord” is. I am doing some interesting lexical study and would like variety! Check on Proverbs 1 [v. 7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.], Isaiah 6 [note Isaiah’s response to seeing God and the message he is given], 11:2,3 [And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LordAnd his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.], Deuteronomy 28:56 I believe? Or 26:58 [Deut. 28:58: “If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God . . .”] … Anyhow, give me thought, ideas, beliefs! What does fear mean in these passages. And I can tell you they are all the same Hebrew word, Yare, with the primary definition: to be afraid of or fear (in the very traditional sense). But his many other peripheral definitions that include the likes of reverence, awe, and deference. [This link is for BlueLetterBible.com with a look at the Hebrew.] Let me know what you think!
My response is as follows. Please keep in mind, I am speaking from my studies and experience and not necessarily according to a specific theological system.
From what I have learned it can mean all of those things. I stand with the idea that we begin with terror of the One who can destroy us, move to a simple fear as we come to faith, and grow into a reverent awe (respect, love, and amazement) as we are drawn closer in Christ. As we consider the fates, if you will, of others, we should find a healthy mixture of all. He has given us, as believers, a responsibility over our fellow Man, so we still face some judgment, though no longer condemnation. The more faithfully we live, the less terror we will and should have (from dread to simple fear to deeper humility).
What say you? Do you have any thoughts on this matter? He was appreciative of my comments, but perhaps I need to continue working on my understanding, as well!
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