What does it mean to “fear” the Lord? When we wait patiently with Jesus through our tough times, when we walk with Him in action and apply His wisdom to our lives….the result is a new song in our heart and, as the Psalmist (David) shares with us, we learn to trust in His leading (which makes it easier the next time around). To fear the Lord means to stand in awe of His power and presence in your life.
Psalm 40:3b (NIV)
Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
Psalm 40:3b (NLT)
Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.
Some time ago I was talking to a friend of mine, Linda, about what it means to “fear” God. We often take the “hard edged” road and think of this “fear” as “be scared of or to cower in front of with trembling” sort of fear. Many translators translate the Hebrew word, “yirau” as “fear”. However, this word also has the deeper meaning of “show a profound respect and reverence for” as well as “showing honor”, “to stand in awe of”. This is why many translators also translate this Hebrew word as “be amazed”, “swear allegiance” or “worship”. If the writers had wanted to impart a hard edged, “fear” they would have used the Hebrew words, “yira”, “mora”, “phd” and there are others.
The bottom line is, as we are patient and as we walk with the Lord daily, in all things, we will see that we are not alone and we will find the strength to handle the trials of life in a healthy way. The result of this is a deeper relationship with Jesus, one in which we learn to trust and in which we recognize His authority in our lives. I do not want to present a picture that we should not have a healthy “fear” of the Lord. Indeed, we should be aware of His great power and presence in our lives. What I want to present, is that our fear of God should be a healthy fear.
Secondly, many around us will see what has taken place in our lives and they too will put their trust in the Lord. Give HIM the Glory, walk with HIM through life and you will be walking the Gospel, the Good News and sharing it with others.
Psalms 40:1-3 (NIV)
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.
U2 performing the song, “40”: