PRO 9:10 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Reverence, awe, and yes, fear.
In the 45 places this Hebrew word yir’ah is used in the old testament, it is always speaking of the fear of God, which is not just reverence, not just awe, but respectful fear of our creator God. It is always mentioned as a fear that should lead to a changed attitude. I think of Godly fear as “conviction under the realization that He is Almighty God, Creator of the Universe”. Yes, all power streams from our God.
But this Godly fear is not the type that paralyzes us or cripples us. That type of fear is typified in the Hebrew word yare’ which is used 314 times in the Old Testament, mainly in places where God is encouraging us to not be afraid.
In fact, Exodus 20:20 uses both of these words in the same verse – demonstrating to us the difference in these two very different concepts that have two Hebrew words, but that we in English have bound together in a single word “fear”.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear [yare’] not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear [yir’ah] may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
And doesn’t this verse unlock the mysteries? Doesn’t it underscore the purpose of Christ?
Didn’t Christ come to tell us that we don’t have to remain where we are? Didn’t He come to call us out of our exile, call us out of our slavery to sin?