I hate the double-minded,
but I love your law.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word.
Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.
Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
Hold me up, that I may be safe
and have regard for your statutes continually!
You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
for their cunning is in vain.
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross,
therefore I love your testimonies.
My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments. -Psalm 119:113-120, ESV
-The Psalmist loves God's law: hopes in God's word; keeps God's commandments; continually regards God's statutes; loves God's testimonies.
-God is a hiding place and shield; our hope, the one who upholds us according to His promises; spurns those who go astray-the wicked; is to be feared.
I took this photo this morning in our backyard. Yesterday it was just starting to freeze and the day before it was warm and sunny. The water may have changed form, but it is still water. The same God who loves us and protects us; the same God who shows us such imcredible mercy and lavishes us with His grace, is the same God who should inspire fear. These things are all a part of His nature. We have a tendency in the church today to try and downplay what it means to fear God. We dilute it with words like respect. Friends, God says we should fear Him. It goes hand in hand with everything else we know about God.
This all puts me in mind of a scene from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
"Ooh!" said Susan, "I'd thougth he was a man. Is he--quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
I think Lewis succeeded very well in capturing the whole essence of God through his picture of the lion, Aslan. When he roared everyone stopped in their tracks, his enemies cringed in fear, even those enemies who seemed very powerful in their own right. And yet, he was someone that Lucy could run to and snuggle up with even though this was no tame lion.
The Psalmist recognizes all of these traits in the LORD. God is our shield and hope, our protector and defender and the only one that we should fear. He makes no room for sin in His court. He abhors it, detests it and never ignores it. That is the whole reason He sent His very own Son into the world. To pay the price for our sin. To remore the stain of sin completely from our lives. Only by believing on Jesus can we stand in the presence of the LORD. It is truly a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God for He has the power, He has the right, to condemn us. But Christ's perfect love casts out that fear for we are no longer condemned. Christ's work on the cross does not, and should not, cast out our fear of God however. He is not a "tame lion" but He is a "good lion."
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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