Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 13, 2016
David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me? 2 Samuel 6:9
I had two types of high school football coaches: one whom I was afraid of because of his tirades and his angry, intimidating language. I was motivated for a short time, but fearful I would not do precisely what he wanted. The second coach expected a high standard of performance, but he was both instructional and inspirational. I knew I had room for failure but my goal was growth. My perception of one coach was an angry man who expected perfection, who was never totally pleased with me. The second coach brought out the best in me—and expected the best from me.
David had a misconception of God’s anger, which led him to be angry at God. The Lord took the life of Uzzah for irreverently managing the sacred ark of God. David feared for his life, because he wondered what might happen to him if he took possession of the ark of the Lord. A mature man in the faith, Obed-Edom received the ark from David into his home and modeled how to worship the Lord well. God blessed Obed-Edom’s reverence. David learned that to fear the Lord brings blessing, but to be afraid of the Lord is a burden. Being afraid of God destroys peace and joy.
“Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands.” (Psalm 112:1, NLT).
How do you know if your fear of the Lord is healthy and not misguided? If you are driven by guilt or shame or feel the need for perfect behavior to be accepted by God, you will always believe you fall short and the Lord is probably not pleased with you. But if you see your heavenly Father’s love and holiness as a refuge in a world of chaos and confusion, you will learn to rest in Christ and learn from Him. You fear God by fearing the consequences of sin, but you freely receive His forgiveness when you do sin. Fear of the Lord draws you closer to the Lord.
The fear of God is the pathway to freely worship and praise God. Those who have experienced salvation in Jesus—rescued from the wrath of the Almighty—have a holy cheerfulness they lift to the Lord in gratitude and thankful praise. Joy in Jesus is the language of heartfelt worship. The more we fear the Lord in His holiness, the more we are free to love and worship Him for who He is—our heavenly Father, the Maker of heaven and earth and our reigning King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Hell has no fury, nor flames of fear—for those who fear God, but are not afraid!
“Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11, NLT). “He will delight in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:3).
PrayerHeavenly Father, teach me what it means to fear You, but not be afraid of You.
Related ReadingPsalm 96:9; Proverbs 14:26, 19:23; Nehemiah 1:11; Revelation 14:7
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