(week 01/01)
Olubi Johnson


The fear of the Lord is an attitude of awe and reverence for God based on the knowledge of the certainty of His justice and the security of His mercy.

We will fear God when we know that He is certain to punish and/ or chasten us for every sin committed and at the same time His mercy is available to triumph over all judgment and chastening when we genuinely repent and forsake our sins.

The knowledge of the certainty of His justice makes sin repulsive and that of the security of His mercy makes righteousness attractive.

Hebrews 2:2-3 KJV: For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation

Proverbs 28:13KJV: He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

In the church today many christians think that once they confess their sins they are forgiven and no judgment follows; so there is no conscious and deliberate effort by the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer and corresponding action to forsake the sin.


Consequently many us play with sin in our lives and because the judgment of God on these sins are not immediate or drastic we think that God is, as it were, a toothless bull dog who barks but does not bite and so we have, generally speaking, lost the fear of God.

The truth however is that many times even when God has forgiven us He still chastens us to teach us righteousness and to let us know that what a man sows he will reap. This is to discourage us from sowing seeds of unrighteousness by abstaining from all appearance of evil by the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer and obedience to the Word.


For instance, after David sinned God forgave him in that he was preserved from physical death; but God still chastened him to teach us not to play with sin.

2 Samuel 12:13-15 KJV: And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

In the New Testament God forgives us when we confess our sins and we are delivered from the penalty of spiritual death and going to hell. However God still, like He did to David above, chastens us by allowing physical and circumstantial difficulties, like sickness, to afflict us to teach us not to play with sin and to follow after righteousness.

1 Corinthians 11:30-32 KJV: For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Psalms 119:67 KJV: Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

Psalms 119:71 KJV: It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Unfortunately many times we mistake God’s judgments for satanic attacks. So instead of judging ourselves and learning what God is trying to teach us about our sin and negligence, so that we can truly forsake them, we are trying to resist the devil instead of first submitting to God in genuine repentance: making a quality decision to forsake the sin. It is only after doing this we can successfully resist the devil and overcome the affliction.

James 4:7-10 KJV: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

We forget that God chastens us like every good Father does his children so that we can be partakers of His righteousness.

Hebrews 12:5-7 KJV: And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Hebrews 12:11 KJV: Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

In our next article on the fear of the Lord, we will see that God’s mercy is not automatic, but conditional, and that it depends on our making the sincere decision to forsake sin and following it up with corresponding actions