Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Fear of the Lord

I was reading in Psalm 103 this morning and it struck me how many things are conditional on us fearing the Lord. This does not mean that God is unfair or does not care about those who don't fear him. There are many who do not know or fear God today who will come to know him in the future, and come to fear (revere, respect, honor, seek to obey) him as well. Much could be said about the fear of the Lord and it is especially prominent in Proverbs. But as I read this morning, 3 promises of God stuck out in particular that I know I need to remember are conditional on us fearing God:

103:11 "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him"

103:13 "As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him"

103:17 "But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children"

These promises of God's steadfast love and immense compassion toward those who fear him are astounding to me. In part this is because I know I don't deserve them and I know there are many times I say I "fear God" with a healthy reverence, wonder, and desire to obey him but in my heart do not feel or act this way at all. My prayer is that God would teach me to fear him, develop the profound respect and love for his name and his glory that he deserves, and that I would come to understand more and more his steadfast love and compassion on my soul. As 103:10 says, "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities." King David wrote this many hundreds of years before Christ would come, and we see this fulfilled most beautifully in he who left heaven for the Divine Rescue Mission. He indeed has not treated us as we deserved, but far better. He has not wiped me off the face of the planet as I deserve for my treasonous sins against his holiness and glory. He shows me compassion, love, mercy, and grace at all times and most completely through Jesus Christ.

My heart resounds with David's as he writes in 103:20-22, "Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you might ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!"

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