First Sunday of Epiphany – January 8, 2023

Holy Trinity Church – Tom Mount


“The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom;

Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

– Proverbs 9:10

Reading: Hebrews 12:18-24, 28-29

What makes God fear-inducing?


“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,

who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

“I dwell in the high and holy place,

and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,

to revive the spirit of the lowly,

and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

– Isaiah 57:15


What are appropriate human expressions of fear toward God?

  1. For those in a secure relationship with God through Christ: Loving holy fear.

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”

– Revelation 4:11

  1. For those not in relationship with God: Abject terror.

“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”

– Revelation 6:15-16


How do we grow in a holy fear of the Lord?

  1. Become a reverent, lifelong student of God (Philippians 3.10).
  2. Let God be God: Don’t reduce or become “overly familiar” with him. (Job 11:7-8).
  3. Don’t grieve him with sin: invite his forgiveness (Psalm 51:9-12).
  4. Think often of judgment and the life to come (2 Corinthians 5:11-12).


With God’s help, let’s cultivate a holy fear of the Lord, expressed in reverent living and awe-filled worship, instilling this fear in the hearts of our children and grandchildren.