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To Fear God…

To fear God, on the one hand, does mean to “be afraid” of him, as in “fear his wrath” (i.e. Exodus 20:20; Matthew 28:10 ).  On the other, it can also mean “to fear” in the sense of “believe”, respect, honor, etc.

In Psalm 147(v11), we have a parallelism (common in the Psalms):

“The LORD takes pleasure

                         in those who fear Him,

                         In those who hope in His mercy.”

Here, those who fear God are those who hope in the Lord’s mercy.

Much more could be said on this.  However,  we could with certainly say that the Bible uses the word “fear” in various ways.  Context will often determine such usage.

 See also The First Commandment of the Large Catechism.

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