“The fear of the Lord is an over-flowing ever-flowing spring of comfort and joy; it is a fountain of life, yielding constant pleasure and satisfaction to the soul, joys that are pure and fresh, are life to the soul, and quench its thirst.” Matthew Henry*

I cannot understand those who pay to watch movies that scare the wits out of them. When I was young, I had a friend who went to see every horror movie possible. I went with him once, after months of persuasion, and closed my eyes throughout. Unfortunately I couldn’t close my ears, and I can still hear the screams to this day!

For most of us, fear is an emotion we want to avoid, and that we will even pay to avoid. It’s a negative, painful, distressing feeling.

And yet, the wisest man in the world, Solomon, said: “Happy is the man who fears always” (Proverbs 28:14). What kind of fear is this that makes a person happy?

1. It is a fear of God, an awe-inspiring sense of the greatness, majesty and holiness of God.

2. It is a fear of sin, as something that offends this awesome God.

3. It is a fear of self, recognizing the evil within us and its danger to us and others.

The old Scottish pastor, Thomas Boston, highlighted the word “always” in this text and said:

“This fear must be our habitual and constant work. [It] should season all we do, and be with us in all times, cases, conditions, places, and companies.”

But Boston also emphasized the happiness of this fear:

1. Because it prevents much sin and advances holiness of heart.

2. Because it prevents strokes of chastisement from our heavenly Father’s rod.

3. Because it empties a man of self confidence, carries the soul to Christ, and makes way for the influences of grace.

That’s a fear worth paying for, and yet that comes without a price tag.

“Happy is the man that fears always.” (Proverbs 28:14)

* Matthew Henry, “Commentary on the Whole Bible,” Christian Classics Ethereal Library, August 1, 2014, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc3.pdf.