“Sin speaks to the sinful man within his heart. There is no fear of God in his eyes. For he makes much of himself in his own eyes. So his sin is not known and hated. The words of his mouth are sinful and false. He has stopped being wise and doing good. He plans wrong-doing upon his bed. He sets himself on a path that is not good. He does not hate what is bad.” Psalm 36:1-4 NLV
The lack of fear arises from the condition that has been characteristic of man since the disobedience of Adam. The reservoir of evil in a man’s heart, that is, man’s mind, manifests itself in numerous ways, both in thoughts and deeds. Man does not even comprehend his inward state of corruption; the prophet teaches: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). It is from this unfathomable and abiding center of wickedness that such a disposition toward God originates.
To have no fear of God is to assume an improper disposition toward God; it is in fact to be opposed to God. It is to fail to hold God in awe, consciously rejecting His high and lofty position. The lack of fear means that one does not recognize His Sovereignty and, therefore, does not submit to God. It is to reject responsibility and accountability to Him. It is to live as though God is not needed.
Lack of fear reveals the magnitude of personal corruption that is in the inner arena of living, the heart of man, wickedness that is ever present and is constantly tempting. Consider the first verse above: “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes” (Ps. 36:1). Transgression is personified and is speaking, and it is speaking at the innermost area of the wicked—“deep in his heart”; the last part of the verse explains why this is possible: “there is not fear of God before his eyes.” Thus, the absence of fear creates an environment that is rich for the activity of evil and evil thrives in this environment, speaking, instructing, enticing, tempting, seducing, and leading the listener further and further away from God.
The absence of the fear of God reveals an inflation of self; Ps. 36:2 reads: “For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.” In the rejection of God there is an increase of the turning to self. “If I do not fear God then I become my own god, so much so that I believe that my iniquity will not be discovered and hated. I am free to pursue my own agenda with no recourse”.
In verse three, the psalmist states that the one with no fear “devises wickedness on his bed” and “sets himself in a way that is not good” (NKJV); without fear of God there is freedom to abandon oneself to evil and evil deeds.
Fear of God is the foundation for living, for without fear there is neither “wisdom” nor “knowledge.”
To fear God is “the whole duty of man.”
“Fear God and give glory to Him.” Rev. 14:7
“Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Eccles. 12:13