Fearing God (Ecclesiastes 8:12) - Radical

Apparel with a Purpose: Check Out Our New Merch!

Fearing God (Ecclesiastes 8:12)

“Though a sinner does evil 100 times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him.”
– Ecclesiastes 8:12

When you just meditate on that phrase, let’s pray according to it. I know it’ll be well with those who fear God. Is that you today? Do you fear God? Do you revere God for who he is? And do you, in a healthy sense, tremble at the thought of who God is? Are you in awe of who God is? Do you regularly bow before God and worship? Do you sit in silence before God like we saw in Ecclesiastes 5 and just silent reverence in awe before God? And do you open his word with a humble sense of whatever this says to do, I want to do it? Do you hate sin because of the dishonor it brings to God even more than because of the cost it brings to you?

Ecclesiastes 8:12 Shows Us the Fear of God

All of these things are involved in a biblical picture of the fear of God, and the Bible is clear, not just here in Ecclesiastes, but all over, it will be well with those who fear God. And you see the contrast here in this verse, “Though a sinner does evil 100 times and prolongs his life.” There’s a way to live to get more and more and more out of this world.

But we know from this chapter in Ecclesiastes and all over the Bible that it is not well for those who do evil against God and get all the things in this world as they do. No, it is well with those who fear God. And it says right after that, “because they fear before him,” just in case we didn’t get it the first time. So can we just pray with this verse clearly on our minds and our hearts? God help us, teach us to fear you. God, I pray for this in my life in a deeper way today that you would help me to grow in the fear of you.

Ecclesiastes 8:12 Teaches Us to Walk in the Fear of the Lord

Think of Acts 9:31, “Walking in the fear of the Lord.” God, help us today to walk in fear of you, in reverence of you, in awe of you and humility before you in deep desire and zeal to honor you. God help us to hate any thought, desire, word, or deed that would not bring honor to you.

God, help us in an Isaiah 66 way, humble ourselves before you contrite in spirit and tremble at your word. Make us a people who are not casual with you, but who fear you, who glorify, who honor and worship and revere and proclaim you. God help us to tell others who you are, to not be silent about who you are. Oh God, make us a people who fear you. As the Psalmist says, “Unite our hearts to fear your name.”

Led Us to Live in the Fear of the Lord

God, even as I’m praying all of this, I confess I don’t know all that, that means, but I do know in my life and in the church culture I’m a part of we have a lot to learn and about what it means to fear you. And so we pray that you would teach us today, help us today to grow in our fear of you, knowing that you are worthy of glory, honor, fear, awe, worship, knowing that it will be well for us when we live in the fear of you.

God, we pray for this. Help us to walk in the fear of you. Teach us to walk in the fear of you more today. In Jesus’ name, we pray according to your word to us in Ecclesiastes 8:12. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!