By: Holly Rotalsky

In this article I discuss the fear of the Lord.  I decided to search the Bible to see what is mentioned about the fear of the Lord and I discovered how wonderful and necessary it is to fear the Lord.  For some when the fear of the Lord is mentioned it is associated with being scared of God and people assume then one cannot be intimate with God if he/she fears the Lord.  But it says in Psalms 25:14 “The Lord is a friend of those who fear him.”  This scripture speaks of the intimacy we enter into with God through fearing Him.  It also says in Psalm 33:18 “The Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.”  This passage reveals how fearing the Lord and His love are intertwined.  It goes on to say in Psalm 34:9  “Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need.”  This means, fearing the Lord comes with having all your needs met, such a wonderful thing.

Another picture of the goodness of God associated with fearing Him is found in Psalm 103:13 where it says, “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”  This passage speaks of God’s tender and compassionate nature being revealed to us through our fear of Him.  With just these few passages of scriptures it seems that fearing the Lord is connected with being a friend of God, being taken care of by God and having all you need.   It goes on to say in Psalm 103:17 “The love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children.”  Fearing God is directly connected with His eternal love that is not only for you, but your children’s children.  There are dozens of scriptures all throughout the Bible that directly talk about the fear of the Lord and I think it is beneficial to know what it is and why we should fear God.    

I share all of this because I believe many do not have a right understanding of the nature of God and when the fear of the Lord is mentioned it becomes very difficult for people to accept and understand.  I believe looking at what the Bible says about the fear of the Lord brings clarity and understanding in such a way that gives peace and vision.  I decided to write about the fear of the Lord because I wanted to learn more about it and inform others as to what it looks like and to shatter the perception that the fear of the Lord is a wrong and bad thing.  

Part of why I felt so compelled to write about this topic is because of a personal experience I had with the fear of the Lord.  Back in 2005/2006 I am not exactly sure which year it was, I was at the International House of Prayer in Atlanta and I was at the altar with 50-100 people experiencing the strong presence of God and the majority of people at the altar and throughout the room were weeping/crying in intercession and suddenly I experienced the fear of the Lord enter the room.  When the fear of the Lord entered the room with it came the presence of God and absolute terror, I was already crying/wailing loudly, but when the fear of the Lord entered the room I began screaming as loud as I possibly could.  I experienced terror with the presence of God and in that moment my face became glued to the floor and I physically could not move.  I was completely struck by the fear and terror of God and I lost complete control of my body, meaning I could not move even if I wanted to, I could not lift my face or move an inch of my body from the floor where I laid face down.  Now this terror I experienced was not evil or demonic, but pure and it was the presence of God.  It may sound strange, but the fear of the Lord and terror I experienced was amazing because it was the presence of God, it was so amazing because I was experiencing God.  This experience I had with the fear of the Lord was the most powerful and significant physical/spiritual experience I have had with the Lord.  Experiencing the terror and presence of God in this way was so amazing because I believe deep within our souls we all long to fear/honor something and I believe we are created to give glory, honor, reverence, fear to God and Him alone. 

That experience has left a lifelong impact on my life and as a result of that experience I can testify 100% that I have experienced the fear of the Lord and that it is an amazing, beautiful and wonderful thing.  That is because the fear of the Lord comes with the presence of God, it is God.  God carries so much holiness, power, weight, authority unlike anything ever created in any realm and so much love, awesomeness, strength, creativity that words cannot fully express.  Because of that God is worthy of the ultimate honor, glory, esteem, respect, reverence, fear from us-created human beings.  God, who is uncreated, is deserving of so much more than what any of us could ever give and I feel it is to our benefit to stay in a place of humility and honor of God to the highest level/degree we can.  I feel we can’t do enough to give God all the honor, praise, respect, admiration, and fear that He deserves.  That makes me think that’s probably why in Revelation 4:8 it says that the four living creatures do not stop saying, day nor night, holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.  If the angels cannot stop saying how holy God is then how much more should we be fearing and honoring God.  

My prayer is for you to understand the fear of God as well as God’s unending, everlasting, and unfailing love.  I believe the greater revelation and experience one has with the love of God, the more honor, respect and fear of God comes.  My desire is for everyone to experience God in every possible way and to ask the Lord to help you understand what it looks like for you to fear Him.  I hope you will benefit from all the scriptures that talk about the fear of the Lord and that you experience a greater measure of God.  

Here are a list of scriptures all throughout the Bible that discuss the fear of the Lord:


Leviticus 19:14 14 “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the LORD.


Leviticus 19:32 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the LORD.


Leviticus 25:17  “Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the LORD your God.


Deuteronomy 4:10 Never forget the day when you stood before the LORD your God at Mount Sinai, where he told me, ‘Summon the people before me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear me also.’


Deuteronomy 6:1-3 These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, 2 and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the LORD your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. 3 Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you


Deuteronomy 6:13 You must fear the LORD your God and serve him. When you take an oath, you must use only his name.


Deuteronomy 6:24 And the LORD our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day.


Deuteronomy 8:6 “So obey the commands of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and fearing him.


Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul.


Deuteronomy 10:20 You must fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone.


Deuteronomy 13:4 Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.


Deuteronomy 14:23 “Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the LORD your God.


Deuteronomy 17:19 When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees.


Deuteronomy 28:58-59 “If you refuse to obey all the words of instruction that are written in this book, and if you do not fear the glorious and awesome name of the LORD your God, 59 then the LORD will overwhelm you and your children with indescribable plagues. 


Deuteronomy 31:12 Call them all together—men, women, children, and the foreigners living in your towns—so they may hear this Book of Instruction and learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully obey all the terms of these instructions.


Joshua 4:24 “He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the LORD’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the LORD your God forever.”


Joshua 24:14 “So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone.


1 Samuel 12:14 “Now if you fear and worship the LORD and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the LORD’s commands, then both you and your king will show that you recognize the LORD as your God.


1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the LORD and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you.


1 Chronicles 16:25 Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.


2 Chronicles 17:10 Then the fear of the LORD fell over all the surrounding kingdoms so that none of them wanted to declare war on Jehoshaphat.


2 Chronicles 19:7  Fear the LORD and judge with integrity, for the LORD our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes.”


2 Chronicles 19:9 These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the LORD, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.


2 Chronicles 20:29 When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the LORD himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them.


2 Chronicles 26:5  Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God.  And as long as the king sought guidance from the LORD, God gave him success.


Job 1:8  Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”


Job 28:28 And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”


Psalm 2:11 Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.


Psalm 9:20 Make them tremble in fear, O LORD. Let the nations know they are merely human. 


Psalm 22:23  Praise the LORD, all you who fear him! Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob! Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!


Psalm 25:12 Who are those who fear the LORD? He will show them the path they should choose.


Psalm 25:14 The LORD is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.


Psalm 33:8 Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of him.


Psalm 33:18 But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.


Psalm 34:7 For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.


Psalm 34:9  Fear the LORD, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need.


Psalm 34:11 Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD.


Psalm 36:1 Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all.


Psalm 61:5 For you have heard my vows, O God. You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.


Psalm 103:13 The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.


Psalm 103:17 But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children.


Psalm 111:10 10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.  Praise him forever!


Psalm 112:1 Praise the LORD!  How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands.


Psalm 112:7 They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.


Psalm 115:11 All you who fear the LORD, trust the LORD! He is your helper and your shield.


Psalm 115:13 He will bless those who fear the LORD, both great and lowly.


Psalm 118:4 Let all who fear the LORD repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”


Psalm 119:38 Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. 


Psalm 119:79 Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws.


Psalm 128:1-4  1 How joyful are those who fear the LORD—all who follow his ways! 2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 4 That is the LORD’s blessing for those who fear him.  


Psalm 135:20 O Levites, praise the LORD! All you who fear the LORD, praise the LORD!


Psalm 147:11 No, the LORD’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.


Proverbs 1:7 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.


Proverbs 1:29 For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the LORD.


Proverbs 2:1 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. 2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. 5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. 


Proverbs 3:7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.


Proverbs 8:13 All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.


Proverbs 9:10 10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.


Proverbs 10:27 27 Fear of the LORD lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.


Proverbs 14:2 Those who follow the right path fear the LORD; those who take the wrong path despise him.


Proverbs 14:26-27 Those who fear the LORD are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.  27 Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.


Proverbs 15:16 Better to have little, with fear for the LORD, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.


Proverbs 15:33 Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.


Proverbs 16:6 Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the LORD, people avoid evil.


Proverbs 19:23 Fear of the LORD leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.


Proverbs 22:4 4 True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.


Proverbs 23:17 Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the LORD.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.


Isaiah 8:13 13 Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble.


Isaiah 11:2 2 And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.


Isaiah 33:6 6 In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the LORD will be your treasure.


Isaiah 50:10 Who among you fears the LORD and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the LORD and rely on your God.


Micah 6:9 Fear the LORD if you are wise! His voice calls to everyone in Jerusalem: “The armies of destruction are coming; the LORD is sending them.


Haggai 1:12 12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God’s people began to obey the message from the LORD their God. When they heard the words of the prophet Haggai, whom the LORD their God had sent, the people feared the LORD.


Malachi 3:16 16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.


Acts 9:31 31 The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.


Acts 19:17 17 The story of what happened spread quickly all through Ephesus, to Jews and Greeks alike. A solemn fear descended on the city, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored.