I finished by plan to read the Bible through this year earlier than expected. So, I began reading back through the Psalms. Last week I was reading Psalm 34 and saw something that I had not seen before. Verses 8-11 seemed to jump off the page.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. Psalm 34:8-10 (NKJV)
There is so much truth in these three verses but what caught my attention was what the Psalmist wrote in verse 9. The Psalmist urged the saints (Christians) to fear the Lord. Then the writer declared that those who do fear God lack nothing. This is quite a promise.
I stopped what I was doing and did a word search on my Bible software about the benefits of fearing the Lord. Three times in the Psalms, I found that God will bless one who fears Him. As I continued searching the Scriptures, I learned how God blesses those who fear Him. Here are some of the jewels that I found.
- God’s eye is on those who fear Him (Psalm 33:18)
- When we fear God, we are given mercy (Luke 1:50; Psalm 103:11,17)
- God takes pleasure with us when we fear Him (Psalm 147:7)
- God has pity on people who fear Him (Psalm 103:13)
- God’s angels protect and deliver us when we fear Him (Psalm 34:7)
- He honors those who fear Him (Psalm 15:4)
- God shares His secrets with those who fear Him (Psalm 25:14)
- God is our help and shield when we fear Him (Psalm 115:11)
There were more blessings than I have time to share what God does for those who fear Him. As I pondered all of this, I asked myself this question. What does it really mean to fear God? One explanation of the fear of the Lord helps bring meaning to this phrase.
The fear of the Lord is the continual awareness that I am in the presence of a holy, just and almighty God and that every motive, thought, word, and action is open before Him and will be judged by Him.
Another person put it this way. The fear of the Lord involves:
- a hatred of sin
- an understanding of who God is
- developing a reverential fear of Him
- being led to develop true wisdom
When one fears the Lord, he/she lives with the awareness of both God’s presence and His coming judgement. As a child of God, we do not have to fear His judgement as our sins have been forgiven. However, an unsaved person has every right to fear God’s coming judgement.
Since fearing God promises to fully satisfy, this should lead us to have the same desire that the Psalmist had. Consider what the Psalmist wanted to do once he understood the importance of fearing God.
Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psalm 34:11 (NKJV)This must be our desire when we taste the goodness of God, are blessed by trusting Him and are satisfied when we fear Him. We must do everything we can to have the next generation listen to us. And what do we want them to know? We want to teach them the fear of the Lord. This must be the highest priority for parents, church leaders and educators as they educate the next generation.
The more we experience (taste) the goodness of God and fear Him, the more we should beg the next generation to come and listen to us. When they come, we can’t try to impress them with high sounding words or inundate them with endless bits of knowledge. We must teach them the fear of the Lord. Why? Because God promises that if they fear Him, He will completely satisfy them. Are you and I teaching the next generation about the fear of the Lord? If not, we need to start to do so without delay!