Every day in my office, I deal with patients that are distraught with fear. They have a fear of the dentist, a fear of needles, and a fear of the unknown. I definitely know what all of their fears are and what causes patients to dread coming to the dentist. The Oxford Dictionary says that fear used as a noun means “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.” This definition clearly demonstrates what my patients are expressing.
However, I have learned that there is another type of fear that is healthy, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This fear is the “Fear of the Lord.” The Hebrew word, “Yirah” is meant “to be in awe” and “to have respect.” We are to be in awe of our heavenly Father and we are to respect Him. Here are a few scriptures that speak on this:
- Proverbs 1:7 (NASB): “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
- Job 28:28 (NASB): “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding.”
- Psalm 33:18 (NASB): “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”
- Psalm 111:10 (NASB): “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all of there who do His commandments.”
Yirah is used twenty-five times in the Bible. It clearly demonstrates that we should be in awe of the Lord. There should also be a fear of God in all of us because He cannot stand sin. God is a God of love but he is also a God of wrath to those who don’t fear (respect) Him. A.W Pink wrote this about the wrath of God:
“The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and the indignation of divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It is the moving cause of that just sentence which he passes upon evildoers. God is angry with sin because it is rebelling against his authority, a wrong done to His inviable sovereignty.”
The Lord poured out His wrath for sin on His son Jesus Christ. He paid our sin debt on a rugged cross. The cross was the most horrible form of execution known to man at that time. God allowed His son to take all of the wrath. To be free from sin and the wrath coming to unsaved sinners, we should and must accept Jesus Christ as our savior.
As you can see, people have many fears including coming to the dentist. But there are two types of fear that we must have about the Lord. One is that we should respect Him and be in awe of Him. The other is that we should fear Him and His righteous anger concerning sin. I pray that you accept Jesus as your savior and that hold the Lord in the highest respect and awe.