Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Fear Of The Lord

Psalm 111:1-10

“Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” (Psalm 111:1)

Once again, the psalmist tells us we should praise the Lord, literally to take time to describe his wonderful works and thank him for them.    He has made a commitment to praise him with his whole heart. Not just halfheartedly, or going through the motions, whether in a church foull of dedicated Christians or out in public with everyone around. 

“The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.  His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.” (Psalm 111:2-3)

What God does is beyond human capabilities or comprehension.  Like a person who cares about another person, those who care about him take time to look at the things he has done and praise him for them.  Everything he does is deserving of respect and praise, and he will keep doing what is right forever.      

“He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.  He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.  He hath showed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.” (Psalm 114:4-6)

We look at the Pyramids and the ancient Egyptian civilization with awe.  The ancient Greek ideas of democracy and Roman legal system still influence our thinking today, yet those ancient cultures have collapsed and their buildings are in ruins.   The things God created, the earth, the planets, even mankind themselves continue.  His standards of right and fairness exceed even those of the Greeks and Romans and are far better known.    All those kings have died and their power is no longer exhibited, but God continues to care for his people and the covenants he made are still in effect.  Even today we see demonstrations of his power, and one day, we will receive the things he has promised his heirs. 

“The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.  They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.  He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalm 111:7-9)

God does nothing in a deceitful manner, nor is he ever unfair.  Our justice system is based on human opinions while God’s is based on actual facts and knowledge.  Human laws change with each new administration, but God’s laws will remain in effect as long as the earth remains, according to Matthew 5:18.  “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  We can be sure we are doing what is right by obeying them, but he has provided a means of redemption for his people when they fail to live up to the standard, so that his covenant or contract will remain in effect forever.    He is sinless and deserves our utmost respect. 

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” (Psalm 111:10)

Intelligence is the ability to think and learn from our experiences.  Knowledge is the things we have learned or know.   Wisdom is understanding the limits of one’s knowledge and abilities.    As we understand that God created the univerwe according to certain principles and physical laws, we begin to understand our limitations.  Hence, the statement that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.    People who keep his commandments understand that he is in control and stay within the limits he has set.  As a result they make far less serious mistakes than those who do not, and they praise him for their ability to accomplish things. 

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