“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)