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June 6 – The Spirit of the fear of the Lord

“And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.” – Isaiah 11:2-3a

Scripture reading: Job 38:1-30

In my years of preaching and writing devotions, one Bible-phrase I’ve used that will almost always generate pushback is “the fear of the LORD.” Those who hear this phrase will naturally protest and claim there is no reason to be afraid of God—He is, after all, loving, merciful and kind. This is true. But it misses the fact He is All-Powerful. He is appropriately angry with the wicked. Sinners cannot stand in His Presence. The work of the Spirit, in His seven-fold brilliance, is the work of instilling in believers an appropriate reverent, awe-filled respect for the LORD of Splendour.

Consider the words the Omnipotent God spoke to righteous Job. Though Job was blameless and upright in his generation, he was still small. He could not be compared to the greatness of God. The majesty of the Living God prompts His people to be keenly aware of their need for Him and their puniness before Him and therefore awed at His greatness and humbled by His mercy. When one considers the creation works of God, aided by the Spirit, one is made aware of his true place in the plan of God; though man is small, God is mindful of him.

The Seven-fold Spirit, the Spirit of the fear of the LORD, shows the believer his great sinfulness, brings him to the place of appropriate confession and humility, and moves him to praise the Living God, Who loves His people and works in them a desire for and an ability to grow in holiness.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for the gift of the Spirit of the fear of the LORD and seek the appropriate knowledge of the fear of the LORD in your Bible reading and prayer so that God’s word and will may be taught to you. Intercede for those who live irreverently that their hearts may be changed.

Rev. Richard Vander Vaart served as a minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America for over twenty years, before joining the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He is now serving as the Atlantic Region prison-visiting pastor working with Redemption Prison Ministry. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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