Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling. Psalm 2:11 NRSV
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. Psalm 19:9a NRSV
At this point, I am wondering if my followers are "afraid" to read this blog because I have been talking about fear for a couple of weeks! Hope you can continue to check these out without fear!
In the psalms, I come away with some general ideas about fear, these two verses being a guide. The whole concept of fear in relationship with God seems to have to do with obedience, following, serving and worshipping God. It makes me wonder about the "relationship" of other people with their gods in the ancient world. I suppose if you created your own god to worship, you wouldn't have any fear of them. In fact, you would be in control and probably wouldn't even have much respect for that god. But I imagine that there were some gods that people did fear as well.
I think the biggest difference is the relationship the Israelites had with God. The ten commandments were part of a covenant, an agreement with God. This wasn't a "do this or else" but "you do this and I will do that" kind of agreement. God was leading them away from slavery into a land where they would be provided for and would prosper if they obeyed, followed, served and worshipped God. The agreement was clear. And fear seems to be the emotion chosen to motivate the people - at least according to the psalms.
Today, I think our emotion to obey, follow, serve and worship is gratitude. Either way, the hoped for final result is love.
God, you ask for our love. We love you with all we are. We thank you and praise you. May we obey, follow, serve and worship you all of our days. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims