“The fear of יהוה is clean, standing forever …” (Ps 19:9 ISR)
I have heard one popular Torah teacher explain the “fear of יהוה" as never wanting to be in the place where I have disappointed my Elohim by something I said or did. And that fairly accurately sums it up. I have no desire to stand in the position where my Abba Father is shaking His head at me, saying “I can’t believe you just did/said that.” Because of this commitment that I have, I try to always do what is pleasing to Him, bringing Him honor, and never shame.
The Hebrew word that has been translated as ‘clean’ is the word ṭâhôr (Strong’s H2889), one that we are familiar with from our studies of Torah, specifically concerning what is clean (ṭâhôr) and what is defiled (ṭâmê', Strong’s H2931, see Lev 10:10). Within the meaning of ṭâhôr, we find that it incorporates the sense of being physically, morally, and ceremoniously pure, uncontaminated, and undefiled. Tâhôr has little to do with taking a bath, and putting clean clothes on, though these actions may be included with the state of being ṭâhôr.
How does ṭâhôr relate to the “fear of יהוה”? When we make the choice to live our lives in the fear of our Elohim, there will always be a corresponding action, i.e. we choose to deliberately not do those things that we know will make us ṭâmê', or defiled. Needless to say, walking out the Torah observant lifestyle would be immersing ourselves in the “fear of יהוה”, an action that is ṭâhôr, morally, physically, and ceremoniously pure and undefiled.
We also learn from our opening verse that this type of commitment will always be ṭâhôr, it will never change. ‘Forever’ implies something that will last throughout all of eternity; it has no end, and no conclusion. We know that the Word of our Creator is ‘forever settled and standing firm’ (Ps 119:89); our continued commitment to be governed by the “fear of יהוה” in all that we say and do is of the same permanence.
“The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.” (Pro 9:10 ISR)
“The Spirit of יהוה shall rest upon Him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of יהוה, and shall make Him breathe in the fear of יהוה. And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears.” (Isa 11:2-3 ISR)