Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fear and friendship

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 25:1-22

TO CHEW ON: "Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way he should choose.... The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he will teach him in the way he chooses." PSALM 25:12,14 ESV


It's interesting that this psalm promises God's guidance and friendship to those who fear Him.

The word fear (yare') here doesn't only mean to be afraid in its usual English sense. It also means to "Stand in awe of, be awed, reverence, honour and respect." The Amplified translation includes those shades of meaning: "Who is the man who reverently fears and worships the Lord? ....The secret [of the sweet satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep inner] meaning."

The words worship and revere imply that our relationship with God is not one of equals. It is similar in some ways to the relationship of subjects to a monarch. Even a king's son or daughter must treat him with special deference observing protocol, at least in public.

When we fear God we become good candidates for His instruction and guidance. It means we will pay attention to what pleases Him. We will accept His correction and discipline. We will obey Him when He tells us what to do and how to do it.

The wonderful thing is God is not some cold distant sovereign ordering us around, but a God who, in response to our fear (respect, reverence, worship), extends (amazing thought) "sweet, satisfying companionship" i.e. "friendship."

PRAYER: Dear God, when I think about You and all Your power, authority, wisdom, creativity, and compassion, the only appropriate response is fear.  I am amazed and incredibly grateful that in response to my fear, You offer friendship. Amen.

MORE: "The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7). Happy the soul that has been awed by a view of God's majesty, that has had a vision of God's awful greatness, His ineffable holiness, His perfect righteousness, His irresistible power, His sovereign grace. Does someone say, "But it is only the unsaved, those outside of Christ, who need to fear God"? Then the sufficient answer is that the saved, those who are in Christ, are admonished to work out their own salvation with "fear and trembling" - by A. W. Pink. Read all of "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
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Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scriptures marked ESV are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV® Text Edition: 2011. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.


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