Delighting in God and Fearing God, the Other Side (Psalm 37:4)

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Psalm 37:4

How do we truly delight in God?

We know God is love, the ultimate and most perfect representation of love. We take comfort in this, knowing that God’s sacrifice and forgiveness covers all of our sins.

But the other side of the delight is the fear of God. The Bible tells us that we must fear God.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments:for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecclesiastes 12:13

Fear often has a negative connotation. From an early age, the objects of our fear take on different manifestations: a person, a place, a time, an activity...all of these are embedded within our being, ready to be triggered and brought to the forefront by a seemingly unrelated event. But God knows that fear of God is clean or pure, and this leads to a perfect peace.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Psalm 19:9

False teachers claim that the God of the Old Testament is different from the God of the New Testament. They claim that the Old Testament God is vindictive, a jealous ruler, invoking fear. The New Testament God is love, a gentle shepherd, invoking peace. This is a false teaching. The God of the Bible is the same in the Old and New Testament.

Peter spent three years living with our Lord, Jesus Christ. He witnessed His transfiguration and was an eyewitness to His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. He called Jesus the Chief Shepherd, recognizing the kindness and forbearance of our Lord. But he also recognized that God deserves our respect and fear as the ultimate judge of all of our actions.

When we come before God, we must understand the complete character of God, not just pick and chose the characteristics we think God should be. God simply is. He is our Peace. He is our Provider. He is our Sustainer. And we know God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Love and respect the Lord; seek His will in your life.