And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife.”
Read the entire story: Genesis 20:1-18
This is the first mention of the fear of God in the Bible.
Because Abraham thought there was no fear of God in Gerar, he was afraid. What was he afraid would happen?
This tells us some things about the fear of God:
- What does it tell us the fear of God restrains people from doing?
- Conversely then, what does it tell us the lack of the fear of God opens the door to?
- In this story there are two kinds of fear: The fear of God and Abraham’s fears of what the people in that place would do to him. Abraham was afraid of the evil that might be done to him. How is the fear of God different from the fear of evil? Is the mental, emotional, and physical response the same?
- In this story we also see the contrast between the fear of God and the fear of man. (Read Proverbs 29:25.) Abimelech’s question to Abraham in verse 10 is a very striking one; it gets at the heart of the matter. What did Abraham have in view? And what did it cause him to do?
From this story how would you define the fear of God and its effects?
Examine your thoughts, your heart, your life: what things do you fear? Do you fear people, what they will or could do to you? Or do you fear God? Does the fear of God govern your actions toward others? List your fears and then in prayer lift each fear before God and ask Him to subordinate it to or replace it with the fear of God. Remember that the mental, emotional, and physical response to the fear of God in the heart of one who wants to please God is quite different from the response generated by the fear of man.
What have you learned about the Fear of the Lord from this passage?
Begin a list of what you learn about the Fear of the Lord from each verse that you study.