14 ¶ Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is an awe and reverence toward God. It is obedience to His commandments, statutes, judgments, precepts, and ordinances which you obey not to get to Heaven or to pay for your salvation, which is impossible, but because you love and fear God. It is something that American Christians have lost in this feel good, its your thing age of the people’s rights, which we dispensationalist minded call the Laodicean church age for the last church listed in the Book of the Revelation.
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
Psalm 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
Psalm 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Deuteronomy 6:2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Many have hardened their hearts. Too proud to unite with a church body. Too cold to read the Bible every day. Too busy to pray unless some tragedy faces them. Very few concern themselves with their so called faith except in a proud proclamation of their right to eternal life by virtue of their belief in Christ failing to acknowledge that it isn’t about their decision but about God’s mercy and Christ’s sacrifice. In fact, I would go on to suggest that most Christians have faith in their faith more than they do in an Almighty God.
They talk about the power of prayer rather than the power of the One to whom they pray. They talk about the dead going to a better place rather than going to face the One that made them. They talk about God as if He were nothing more than an idea, a force, rather than an entity, a person if you will, with a will.
Abraham Lincoln learned the fear of the Lord. He went from mocking the Bible to viewing God as a power to telling people as the Civil War raged that he knew there was a God who had a will and who wasn’t on the side of either belligerent and had judged the nation for slavery. He announced the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet as a promise he had made to this God, a promise which he dare not go back on (From Gettysburg College’s Allen Guelzo in his book “Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.) Now, whether or not you believe he was sincere or just another politician trying to look pious and spiritual, my point is that the fear of the Lord IS the beginning of wisdom and, for the Christian, the beginning of joy and happiness once he or she receives Christ.
But, for the Christian who hardens their heart and has no time or place for God, a great deal of trouble awaits in this life and after, not the least of which is their standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account of things they have done and why. You aren’t in danger of losing your salvation but what joy you are missing out on now and then. This is not the great judgment of the unsaved but of those who have believed on Christ.
Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
2Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Fear God, trust Christ, depend on the Holy Spirit, and know the joy and peace He gives.