[This is a guest post from Cheryl Pugh. Make sure you express your appreciation to her and all the others in our church who have written for us lately.]
When reading Psalm 34 there is great comfort that can be found to those who fear the Lord. Who are the ones described as fearing the Lord? His “saints” (v. 9) and His “children” (v. 11). When I think about fear, many fears instantly pop into mind. However, when reading this passage, I am commanded to shift my fearing these distracting things to fearing the Lord. “Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack” (v. 9). Where do I begin? “Come, O children, listen to me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord (v. 11). Our fear should rest in the Lord and in no other place for as His children He promises to deliver (v. 4 & 7), to provide (no lack, v. 9 & 10), to bless (v. 8), to save (v. 6 & 18), to hear (v. 6 & 15), to encamp around (v. 7), to look upon (v. 15), to be near (v. 18), to protect (v. 20), and to redeem us (v. 22). This passage states, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (v. 19).
For those who do not fear the Lord the following promises are given, “The Lord is against and the memory of them will be cut off (v. 16), their affliction will slay them and they will be condemned (v. 21). This is a sobering reminder for us to bring our fear back into focus to the God who holds all things together - including you.
As one writer said,“Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what is the use of learning if we have not the fear of God? Certainly a humble country-man who serves God is worthier than a proud philosopher who studies the motions of the stars, but neglects his soul. The man who really knows himself has a low opinion of his merit, and takes no pleasure in the praise of mean. If I knew all things that are known on earth, but had no love for God, what would avail me in His sight, who will judge me according to my deeds?"