Psalm 112: 1 Praise the LORD! Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in his commandments… 7 They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the LORD.
This is a good companion passage to my blog post of yesterday wrestling what it means to “love and fear God”. If you didn’t read it, find it here:
To fear the Lord is to “greatly delight in his commandments”. I don’t usually put “fear” and “great delight” in the same sentence, but the fact that the psalmist does so tells us a bit about his understanding of fearing the Lord. Fear of God is not an invitation to terror but to blessing, which is generally a good thing. It’s something to look forward to. I also love the emphatic language used here. One who fears the Lord does not simply delight in the commandments of the Lord, but “greatly” delights in them.
I’m not sure that I greatly delight in the commandments of God. If I’m honest, there are many times when I chafe at God’s commandments, as if following them means missing out on something good. In this way I’m no different from Adam and Eve who, at least in part, ate the forbidden fruit because they wanted to “be like God”. But the news isn’t all bad.
I also have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within me. It’s the Spirit that God gave to me in my baptism (and to you if you are baptized). In my own strength sin will always get the better of me, but empowered by the Spirit I can be set free from bondage to sin. By pure grace the Lord gives me strength to resist my worst impulses and live more closely into the life God imagines for me every day.
No, our world is not completely rid of sin and death just yet, but soon my dear friends. Because Jesus is coming!