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In far too many cases, we have lost our fear of the Lord.  This word has many meanings. When I speak of fear, I’m not saying we are afraid of the Lord, or He is going to rain down on us with harshness.  In this case, I am speaking of fear as reverence and respect.  Our love for God moves us to fear Him with such great honor.  When I think of that word, I think of my grandmother. I use this illustration to make it clear what I’m seeking to convey: I had such great respect and love for my grandmother that I sought to honor her.  Now, she certainly would bring down strong punishment and discipline on me, but it was out of her love for me. Every time I mention her name, I have great regard for who she was.  That regard cannot compare to the fear of the Lord in my heart. Our God is awesome and mighty, and He deserves our highest praise and respect.  Proverbs 23:17 speaks about the fear of the Lord.

“Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the LORD.

Here the writer of these verses provides wisdom.  It gives instructions not to let his heart envy those who are ungodly, for he knew that envy might lead to emulating sinners.  He speaks with knowledge as he calls him to be faithful and to fear the Lord in all things and in all ways.  He wrote about what will happen in the future to those who do not revere and fear the Lord, but he does not end there.  He goes on to speak with full assurance of the blessings that come to those who do fear the Lord.  It is my prayer today, that through this wisdom literature, we understand the instructions and the blessings that come to those who fear the Lord.

Proverbs 23:17 (NLT)