The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)
Who do you fear and what do you hate? The world fears the thought of giving up their sin, and hates God for calling them to do so. What is it of the Lord that you fear? It is good to fear His judgment, His wrath, even His presence. These things should keep us from sin, and if we are wise, will cause us to hate it. In like manner, we should fear disappointing God, causing Him sorrow. Above all, we should fear shunning His great love for us. Because He loves us so very much, we love Him. (1) It is the overwhelming love of God that should cause us to fear Him the most and vehemently hate all evil: pride, arrogance, the evil way, the perverse mouth.
“The fear of the Lord” or “fear the Lord” occurs fifteen times in the book of Proverbs. To fear God is the beginning of our growth in Him. (2) “Beginning” in the Hebrew means “the start”. We cannot gain knowledge of spiritual things if we begin at the wrong point. If we fail to fear the Lord, we will not learn to hate sin and if we do not learn to hate sin, we will be ignorant of the things of God.