Personal experience is powerful. It speaks louder than suppositions and theory. Everyone may be entitled to their opinion, but it doesn't make it true or right. Experience has a way of exposing half-truths and falsehoods.
At one point in history, leading scientists and thinkers believed the world was flat. If a person were to sail a ship towards the horizon, they thought the ship would fall off the edge of the world.
These leaders were proven wrong by the experience of the early explorers, who sailed beyond the horizon and lived to tell about it.
By David when he pretended to be insane in the presence of Abimelech; Abimelech threw him out, so David left.
I will thank the Lord at all times. My mouth will always praise him. My soul will boast about the Lord. Those who are oppressed will hear it and rejoice. Praise the Lord’s greatness with me. Let us highly honor his name together.
I went to the Lord for help. He answered me and rescued me from all my fears. All who look to him will be radiant. Their faces will never be covered with shame. Here is a poor man who called out. The Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles. [vss 1-6]
The Messenger of the Lord camps around those who fear him, and he rescues them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the person who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you holy people who belong to him. Those who fear him are never in need. Young lions go hungry and may starve, but those who seek the Lord’s help have all the good things they need.
Come, children, listen to me. I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Which of you wants a full life? Who would like to live long enough to enjoy good things? Keep your tongue from saying evil things and your lips from speaking deceitful things. Turn away from evil, and do good. Seek peace, and pursue it! [vss 7-14]
The Lord’s eyes are on righteous people. His ears hear their cry for help. The Lord confronts those who do evil in order to wipe out all memory of them from the earth. ⌊Righteous people⌋ cry out. The Lord hears and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near to those whose hearts are humble. He saves those whose spirits are crushed.
The righteous person has many troubles, but the Lord rescues him from all of them. The Lord guards all of his bones. Not one of them is broken. Evil will kill wicked people, and those who hate righteous people will be condemned. The Lord protects the souls of his servants. All who take refuge in him will never be condemned. [vss 15-22]
(Psalm 34:1-22 GW) [Context– Psalm 34]
Taste and see that the Lord is good—Blessed is the person who takes refuge in him
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
- Why is King David thankful to the Lord? How does he express this gratitude?
- What is David's encouragement about the Messenger of the Lord? What are his exhortations concerning the fear of the Lord?
- How does the Lord relate to those who are righteous and humble? How does He deal with those who are evil?
- What are the promises and assurances given throughout this psalm for those who trust God?
The fear of the Lord is often misunderstood. At times it's minimized as respect, but it's more than that. Some people view it as something negative.
This psalm gives some good insight into the fear of the Lord. It's based on experiential relationship with God, a relationship built on trust.
It includes gratitude and awareness of God's goodness and faithfulness. It motivates a person to walk in the light of God's truth, so we honor Him and become a reflection of His nature.
Does the fear of the Lord involve respect? Yes, but it's a recognition and acceptance of who God is and of His power and might and holiness.
Great blessing comes with fearing the Lord in a right way, but there's a great cost for those who choose not to humble themselves before God.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
- When you face troubles in life—Do you cry out to God with a thankful heart or only questions?
- Have you learned the difference between an anxious fear and the fear of the Lord?
- Have you experienced the blessings in life that the fear of the Lord brings?
- In what ways have you experienced God's goodness when you've looked to Him as your refuge?
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