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What does it mean to Fear the Lord?
7/11 Reading Portions: Joshua 14-15; Psalms 146-147; Jeremiah 7; Matthew 21
Online Bible Audio/Readings Links (ESV)
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His steadfast love. Psalm 147:11
What is godly fear? Our devotional text today gives us an important insight. Who was the one Person with whom YHVH was most pleased? Jesus Christ, of course. God was so pleased with His only begotten Son that twice from heaven, at Christ’s baptism and on the Mount of Transfiguration, did He declare,
“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17; 17:5
As a Man, Jesus was perfectly obedient to the Law of Moses, both actively and passively, in every jot and tittle of its commandments. As God incarnate, He was willingly submissive to the Father’s will in all things, even unto death upon a cross of wood (Phil 2:8).
Certainly, we cannot keep the commandments of God in perfect obedience as Jesus had— because of the corruptions of our flesh which still remain; nevertheless, empowered by the Holy Spirit and submissive to our Master’s will, we can be as obedient as a sinner saved by grace is able. Why? The Scripture declares it: for the LORD also takes pleasure in those who hope in His steadfast love; that is, in those who hope in His mercy. Christ’s presence stirs us with power. The believer’s fear of the LORD is the holy trepidation we have that we may, by our corrupt flesh, dishonor the One we love; displease the One who first loved us (1 Jn 4:19) and gave Himself for us (Gal 2:20).
Salvation, by God’s grace, was never intended to make us perfect on this planet. That would cheapen the perfection of Christ as a Man and dishonor the precious and powerful propitiation of His sacrifice upon the cross. Yet when we, with spiritual eyes see the holiness of Christ Jesus and the glory of His sacrifice, it stirs us who hope in His mercy and provokes us to be like our Master, as much as a sinner saved by grace is able. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
The LORD is pleas’d with all of those
Who fear His holy name:
With them who on God’s mercy hope,
He’s happy in the same.