Monday, October 27, 2014

The Fear of the Lord

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Yesterday in our musical praise at the church I pastor, we sang verses from the Bible—Scripture Songs we used to call them years ago. One of them was from Psalm 19, which is about the Word of God. Here is the entire song, verses 7-10:

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; 
 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; 
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 
 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 

While we were singing, one of the lines “jumped out” at me. It was verse 9: The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. Obviously, I couldn’t stop what I was doing and begin to ponder the verse, but later in the day, I started thinking about the “fear of the Lord.” I began by reviewing many passages in the Bible, which talk about the fear of the Lord. It strengthened my heart, and I hope it will be an encouragement to you too.

One of my Bible College professors was fond of saying, “To fear God is to bow to His sovereign authority.” The Psalmist wrote about it this way, Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry [Psalm 34:11-15].

Later, his wise son, Solomon, wrote, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge… and, Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil [Proverbs 1:7 and 3:7].

To say, the fear of the Lord is an Old Testament concept is to misunderstand Scripture. Paul wrote these words to the Christ followers at Philippi, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling… [Philippians 2:12]. 

He also wrote this to the Corinthian Christ followers, Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God  [2 Corinthians 7:1].

These are merely samplings of the MANY biblical references concerning the fear of the Lord. As I meditated on the powerful words of Scripture, I was reminded that when we fear God, our greatest joy is pleasing Him; our greatest disappointment is displeasing Him. 

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. Psalm 19:9

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