“Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments” (Ps. 112:1).
The fear of the Lord. We so often look at this topic and we may wonder, what does this mean? So many have attributed this idea to that of “respect”. When we fear God, we are actually saying that we love God, and respect His decisions. Now please do not get me wrong here, I do believe that respect does apply here, and we need to respect God thoroughly. But we need to realize that this is not talking about the kind of respect you have for your Grandfather, or even your Dad. This is not the kind of respect you have for your favorite baseball player, or a great historical leader. Rather this is the respect you have for the police officer that you slow down for because you know that he has the power to make your future a little bit more miserable if you don’t heed that power.
Let’s make it simple and just look at the word “fear”, and lets just leave it as is. Why do we have such a hard time with this phrase? Because we don’t want to say that God scares us! How could I say that the loving God who sacrificed His Son for me is someone that I am scared of? That He is someone that puts fear in my eyes? Well, we need to remember that He is also the God who destroyed many nations because they were not faithful to Him.
Rahab is considered a woman of faith (Heb. 11:31, Jm. 2:25), and yet she started off as a harlot. What made her a woman of faith? It’s the fact that she was so scared of the power of God which she had seen, and it scared her to the point of obedience. Look, we need to understand that our God is powerful, and though He is loving, will punish us if we do not follow His commands. That is why Ps. 112:1 says that the man who fears the Lord will delight in His commandments, because our fear of disappointing God will trump anything else we want to do, and our delight will be serving Him. So yes, respect God’s power. He loves us and doesn’t want to punish us, but if we are not willing to heed His instructions, then He will have no other choice. So fear the Lord.
- Adam M. Warnes