Be clothed with humility " says the apostle ( 1Peter 5:5 ). This is what becomes us as the only safe disposition. For he who walks humbly , walks safely. This is the purpose of Peter's advice , " Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear" (1 Peter 1:7) . This is not a servile fear of bondage that upsets and perplexes the soul. It is the fear that keeps people constantly upon the Father in the light of final judgement ." If you call on the Father , who without respect of persons judges according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear". This is the humble frame of mind.

How is this humble disposition obtained ! How is it kept? It is only achieved by a constant , deep apprehension of the evil , vileness , and danger of sin. The publican prays , "God be merciful to me a sinner ". This sense of sin kept him humble. Humility led him to plead for pardon from sin.

In the case of Joseph we also see that to fear the effects of sin is to fear the Lord. " How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God ?" Indeed , the fear of sin and the fear of the Lord are the same thing." The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom ; and to depart from evil is understanding " ( Job 28:28 )

~ John Owen