The Fear of the Lord – Part 1

The Fear of the Lord  – Part 1

The Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.  Psalm 147:11

Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, said it well when he wrote:

“A holy fear of God and hope in God not only may consist, but must concur. In the same heart, at the same time, there must be both a reverence of his majesty and a complacency in his goodness, both a believing dread of his wrath and a believing expectation of his favor.”

What a good description of what is means to walk in the fear of the Lord. The spiritually healthy person has this combination, in the same heart, of a REVERENCE (fear) of the majesty and glory of God and a CONTENTMENT in his goodness. Or to put it another way, there is an awe and deep respect for God’s position, his sovereignty and his majesty, accompanied with a wonderful resting in his person.

This wonderful combination is often seen in the heart of the little child who looks at his father with a sense of revere and a “My dad is awesome and can do anything!” sort of look.  Because that child has such a deep respect for his father, there is a healthy fear of displeasing him but that fear is accompanied with a rest and contentment because the child knows in his heart, “My dad loves me and wants the best for me and will protect me and look out for me.” That combination of reverence and respect for His majesty, and rest and contentment in His goodness, makes for a healthy, confident and well balanced Christian life.

I heard a story that I think illustrates this well. A group of teenagers were playing miniature golf together, when one of the guys from their school arrived to announce that there was a party happening at the Conner house. Joe’s parents were out of town and the guys had got a couple of kegs and everyone was invited. All the kids in the miniature golf group declared they were “down” and would be on their way as soon as their golf game was over; all, accept for Susan who promptly declared she was not going. Upon hearing this, the young man who initiated the invitation snidely remarked, “How come, Susan? Are you afraid that your dad is going to hurt you if you go?” Susan quickly responded, “No. But I am afraid it will hurt him, if I go!”  You see, Susan had such a deep love and respect for her father that it caused her to seek to live a life that would not do anything that would cause him hurt or disrespect…. Not because she was afraid of her father, but because she deeply loved her father and knew how much her father loved her.

The Psalmist declared that the Lord delights in those who fear Him. He delights in his kids who understand the power and the magnitude of His majesty, but also know how deeply they are loved by Him!


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