What is the fear of the Lord? Can it be actual fear and being scared of what God can do?
Proverbs states that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). To fear the Lord is to worship and revere him, to be in awe of him. Fearing the Lord means doing whatever he has commanded us to do.
This is revealing his name as his reputation, his character, and his acts. When we hear of who he is or what he has done, we honors him. But I submit that the fear of the Lord can be exactly what it sounds like.
There are times in the Bible where people fear the Lord literally. They are afraid of him because of what he has done, his wrath toward them. For instance, the people of Canaan are greatly afraid of the Israelites. But they are rather greatly afraid of Yahweh.
They have heard what he has done to other nations, to Egypt and to other parts of Canaan. Their fear is not as much reverence as it is being scared of a being greater than their own gods. So the fear of the Lord is revering Him but it is also having a healthy fear of his power and person.
One of my favorite Christian authors, C. S. Lewis in the popular Chronicles of Narnia series, in The Lion, The Which, and The Wardrobe, the children asked the beaver about Aslan, the lion. They ask him if he is “safe.” The line represents Jesus.
The beaver replies, “Safe? Safe? He’s not safe. But he’s good.” We need not fear the Lord in the sense that we are afraid of him because we are his children. But we must revere him and honor him for who he is and what he does. He is great and mighty and we must balance his transcendence and his closeness to each of us.