20/08/07

Due Respect

Read Psalm 76:1-12 (given below)

We read and hear so much about the love of God that we sometimes forget the fear of God. "You, Yourself, are to be feared; and who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry?" (v. 7).

What is this fear Asaph mentions? It's the fear of the Lord, that reverent respect and awe that we show to Him because of His greatness and power. We are God's children, and the Holy Spirit in our hearts says, "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15). We can pray, (Matthew 6:9-15) "Our Father, who art in heaven." We can draw close to God, and He will draw close to us. But remember that God is God and we are human beings. He is in heaven, and we are on earth. He is eternal, and someday we will be with Him in heaven. Meanwhile, our earthly existence is temporal.

The fear of God is not like the dread of a prisoner before a judge. It's not the cringing of a servant before a master. It's the reverent respect and awe of a child realizing the greatness and the glory of God. We fear Him because He is so great. "In Judah God is known; His name is great in Israel" (v. 1). Oh, what a great name He has! How sad that the people of the world take His great name in vain. We also fear Him because He is glorious. "You are more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey" (v. 4).

We also fear God because of who He is and what He has done. "At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse were cast into a dead sleep" (v. 6). What is the result of fearing Him? God fights our battles. He goes before those who fear Him. We can stand before Him because Jesus intercedes for us. God will not be angry because of our sins. Jesus has taken care of that. Let's fear the Lord, and He will fight our battles for us.

God deserves your reverent respect. And you have many reasons for giving it to Him. Do you give God His due respect? Take time to meditate on who He is and what He has done for you. Come into His presence and worship Him. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 9:1).

[ Reference Scriptures ]

Psalm 76:1-12 [Amplified]
1 IN JUDAH God is known and renowned; His name is highly praised and is great in Israel.
2 In [Jeru]Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place is in Zion.
3 There He broke the bow's flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
4 Glorious and excellent are You from the mountains of prey [splendid and majestic, more than the everlasting mountains].
5 The stouthearted are stripped of their spoil, they have slept the sleep [of death]; and none of the men of might could raise their hands.
6 At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both chariot [rider] and horse are cast into a dead sleep [of death].
7 You, even You, are to be feared [with awe and reverence]! Who may stand in Your presence when once Your anger is roused?
8 You caused sentence to be heard from heaven; the earth feared and was still--
9 When God arose to [establish] judgment, to save all the meek and oppressed of the earth. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise You; the remainder of wrath shall You restrain and gird and arm Yourself with it.
11 Vow and pay to the Lord your God; let all who are round about Him bring presents to Him Who ought to be [reverently] feared.
12 He will cut off the spirit [of pride and fury] of princes; He is terrible to the [ungodly] kings of the earth.

Romans 8:12-15 [NIV]
12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligationóbut it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

Matthew 6:9-15 [NIV]
9 "This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.' 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

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