Trembling in Fear

This psalm is an acrostic poem. Each stanza begins with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The verses of each stanza begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

113 I hate double-minded people,
but I love your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commands of my God!
116 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
do not let my hopes be dashed.
117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
I will always have regard for your decrees.
118 You reject all who stray from your decrees,
for their delusions come to nothing.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
therefore I love your statutes.
120 My flesh trembles in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your laws. Psalm 119:113-120

It’s been a while since I’ve seen fear and trembling as it relates to God. The psalmist knew what that was.

Since this term is often mischaracterized, here’s what trembling in fear is not:
Worry that every little sin you commit is going to condemn you to hell
Worry that God is going to make you do things you’d rather not ever do
Worry that you’re going to be punished for not doing something you know you should have done

That’s a very strict view of the fear of God and I’m pleased to say that if God is anything at all, He is just.

Yes, he desires that we live pure lives but it’s still a very fallen world filled with brokenness and strife.
No, God will never make you do what you don’t want to do. That’s why He’s given us free will.

The principle of the fear of God is not so complicated: it’s the realization that everything I say or do can be pleasing to God, and speaking or acting accordingly.

It’s also realizing that despite our best efforts, our lives are under His control.

We acknowledge that we don’t know everything nor can we.

Lastly, it’s being aware that everything I say and do is being watched by man. In other words, our lives matter. The things we do and say in front of others also matters and can be the difference between heaven and hell for those watching us. Now, obviously, these people make their own decisions regarding their faith, but our words, actions, and attitudes can draw people to Christ.

One response to “Trembling in Fear”

  1. very good words – I sure would love to sit and church and listen to you talk David! 🙂

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