"Then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God."
-- Proverbs 2:5
All my life I have heard Christians trying to explain what "the fear of the
Lord" is. Some say it is "reverent awe." Others say it is "dread." Others
say it is "abject terror."
I would like to suggest that what it is depends on where you are. Let me use
an illustration I've used before. When I'm inside my brother-in-law's semi
truck going 70 mph down the highway, I'm very comfortable. But I am afraid
to stand out in the road in front of it. I know that I don't have the
ability to stop 40,000 pounds of metal moving at 70 mph. I would get squashed.
So, inside the semi, I am completely at peace. Outside the semi, I have a
healthy respect for it. In the path of the semi, I would be scared like
crazy unless and until I got out of the way. Same fear, different location.
So the fear of the Lord must not be mistaken for a desire on God's part to
terrorize His children. Instead, it is an invitation to come inside and be at peace.