I was reading Psalm 103 today—-what a beautiful passage! It describes a life that is blessed and covered by God. But in this Psalm, as often in the Bible, the blessings, coverings, protection and forgiveness are connected to person’s humble life and his/her fear of God.
As I grew up I was always told that the “fear of the Lord” just meant a healthy respect and reference for God. But “the fear of the Lord” is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible. Have we watered down what the Holy Spirit meant when He inspired these words to prophets, kings and apostles?
But as I read the Word, it’s obvious that the fear of God is a good and positive thing. Those that fear God aren’t wimps or cowards or folks that are unsure of God’s love or approval of their lives. Throughout the Bible it is the God fearing men and women that became our heroes! But they all had a healthy respect for God as being “wholly other”—-not like us, but rather absolutely pure, holy, righteous and removed from anything that is evil, wrong, deceitful, etc.
Jesus drives the point home even stronger when He said, "Don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). Obviously fearing God is good because it reminds us of life outside and against God! A life opposed to God is a lost cause!! Who do we look up to and trust the most?—— those folks that are God fearing! A man or woman that fears God keeps their word and their promises.
What does the fear God do for me?
-Checks my ego
-Reminds me to keep my promises
-Sets me free from chasing rainbows and instead following God
-Reminds me that He will judge me—-and then forgive me because of the blood of Jesus
And where does the fear of God lead me? To the indescribable love of God. But I cannot come to understand and experience that sublime love unless I understand and see the need to fear life here and everlasting without Him. And that love, leads me from fear (which is the beginning of getting to know God) to a relationship with Him that fulfills all my hopes, dreams and yearnings.
Psalm 103 Of David.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
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