Should we be afraid of God? 9 Bible verses about fear

Fear has a bad rep among Christians. We think of Jesus as our friend. We sing songs about him that are sometimes uncomfortably intimimate, in which fear has no place. And all that fearing God is a bit, well, Old Testament, isn't it? The trouble is that the Old Testament is the inspired Word of God as well, and if it talks about fear, we had better try to understand what it says. It often talks about the fear of God, in the sense of awestruck respect for him. He is like a stern parent we wouldn't even dream of disobeying, not because we are afraid of what they might do to us, but because – well, we just wouldn't. A little more of that kind of fear might correct some of the sentimentality that creeps into modern evangelical worship. And there are other kinds of fear, too – fear of human beings and what they can do to us. Often in the Bible there are promises of God's protection against this. Being alert to the word helps us be more aware of God's loving care.

Perfect love does cast out fear. We are not scared of God, but we understand and acknowledge his power. Here are nine Bible verses about fear. 


1. When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance (Exodus 20:18).

2. Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 25:17).

3. Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! (Deuteronomy 5:29).

4. Be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you (1 Samuel 12:24).

5. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side (Psalm 3:6).

6. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day (Psalm 91:5).

7. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10).

8. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father' (Romans 8:15).

9. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).