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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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a painful apprehension of danger. It is sometimes used for the object of fear; as, "the fear of Isaac," that is, the God whom Isaac feared, Genesis 31:42 . God says that he will send his fear before his people, to terrify and destroy the inhabitants of Canaan. Job speaks of the terrors of God, as set in array against him, Job 6:4 ; the Psalmist, that he had suffered the terrors of the Lord with a troubled mind, Psalms 88:15 . Fear is used, also, for reverence: "God is greatly to be feared" in the assembly of his saints. This kind of fear, being compatible with confidence and love, is sometimes called filial fear; while "the fear which hath torment," being the result of conscious guilt, and the anticipation of punishment, is removed by that "love" to God which results from a consciousness of our reconciliation to him.

The filial fear of God is a holy affection, or gracious habit, wrought in the soul by God, Jeremiah 32:40 , whereby it is inclined and enabled to obey all God's commandments, even the most difficult, Genesis 22:12 ; Ecclesiastes 12:13 ; and to hate and avoid evil, Nehemiah 5:15 ; Proverbs 8:13 ; Proverbs 15:6 . Slavish fear is the consequence of guilt; it is a judicial impression from the sad thoughts of the provoked majesty of the heaven; it is an alarm within that disturbs the rest of a sinner. Fear is put for the whole worship of God: "I will teach you the fear of the Lord,"

Psalms 34:11 ; I will teach you the true way of worshipping and serving God. It is likewise put for the law and word of God: "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever," Psalms 19:9 . The law is so called, because it is the object, the cause, and the rule of the grace of holy fear.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Fear'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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