Those Who Fear Him

Those Who Fear Him


It was a rough night; high winds, heavy rain, lightning and thunder. The power had blinked off and on a few times, but there was never really a power outage. Thankfully, around 2:30am the winds died down and the storm dissipated. You are now very thankful for the few hours of sleep and that the house seemed to weather yet another summer storm. With the sun up and the birds singing you are surprised to see that the powerlines behind your house have blown over. Several power poles are leaning over and the power lines are suspended about two feet off the ground in your back yard. A thought crosses your mind, ‘I wonder if those powerlines are energized or not?’ What do you do?

  • Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Hopefully, you don’t walk over and grab one of the powerlines! Most people who live in areas where electrical service is common have a general understanding of how dangerous electricity can be. You could say they have a healthy respect for the power being conducted by the powerlines. You might even say they have a fear of electricity.

There are several different words translated as ‘fear’ in the Bible. The word fear is often used in conjunction with God. Here are two examples
  • Psalm 119:120 My flesh trembles for fear of You, And I am afraid of Your judgments.
  • Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Of the three verses included with this devotion above, the different words translated ‘fear’ have two meanings:
  • Mathew 10:28 and Proverbs 9:10 – Can mean reverence/awe and fear/alarm/afraid
  • Psalm 119:120 – Means dread/terror

With regards to fearing God, the general concept presented in the Bible is:
  • We know who He is
  • We know He is all-powerful and all-knowing
  • We know that He is righteous and that He will judge sin
  • We know that He reigns sovereignly over His Kingdom (the universe)

Fearing God is to reverence and respect Him based on a fundamental understanding of His power and His direct and righteous engagement with the affairs of man. Our continual reverence and awe towards Him can sometimes include being afraid of His response to our failures.

As we maintain a proper attitude towards Him, He extends incredible mercy to us. Psalm 103 is a wonderful expression of adoration and humility towards God in response to His abundant mercy.
  • Verse 1: Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
  • Verse 8: The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

There are three verses in Psalm 103 that reference ‘… those who fear Him’.
  • Verse 11: For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
    • The Lord’s favor and kindness toward those who reverence Him are as immeasurable as the expanse of space.
  • Verse 13: As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
    • Imagine the compassion a loving father has toward his children, such is the compassion of the Lord to those who are in awe of Him.
  • Verse 17: But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,
    • As His existence extends from eternity past to eternity future, so extends the Lord’s mercy on those who genuinely respect Him.

We fail Him in many ways: we fall short of the life He desires for us; we doubt and worry and depend on the wrong things; we put our selfish desires above His commands to love Him and others; …


Our failures justify a wrathful response.
 
But He never fails us!


  • Lamentations 3:22-23 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.


Prayer

Father in Heaven, without Your mercy, Your well-deserved wrath would have long ago consumed us. Thank You for Your ongoing mercy! Thank You for the indwelling presence of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for salvation in Jesus Christ. Your mercy is greater than my finite mind can comprehend. My praise and thanksgiving fall short of what is required in response to Your mercy; yet another circumstance where Your love overshadows my shortcomings. I love You and praise You. My prayer is lifted up to You in the name above every name, Jesus Christ. Amen.