S (Scripture ): Psalm 111:10 To obey the Lord is the fundamental principle for wise living; all who carry out his precepts acquire good moral insight. He will receive praise forever.
O (Observation): Some of you may know the first half of this verse in a slightly different translation to English:
“the beginning of wisdom [is] the fear of the Lord.”
Let us keep in mind, however, that this is a psalm of praise. Here are the first 2 verses of Psalm 111:
1 Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the assembly of the godly and the congregation.
2 The Lord’s deeds are great,
eagerly awaited by all who desire them.
We can see that this psalm is about how great our God is and how wonderful are God’s works.
Martin Luther talked a lot about “fear of the The Lord.” I believe he meant this to be a healthy respect and awe for The Lord, and not a “run away, go find a happy place” kind of fear.
As he wrote an explanation to the The 10 Commandments in his Small Catechism, each response/explanation to the commandments starts off with this: “We are to fear and love God, so that…” Fear of the Lord is and can be healthy.
Sometimes we forget the mighty acts of the Lord. Sometimes we forget that we have the SAME SPIRT IN US THAT WAS IN CHRIST JESUS!!!
If I had one major takeaway from my time at the 3DM Global Pilgrimage this past weekend, it would parallel this psalm. God is great and greatly to be praised. God is at work in and around me. God leads and God cleans up behind me.
With a healthy fear of the Lord, not knowing if I’m always certain of the direction I’m to be heading, I move forward anyway. I pray for grace.
Obedience comes not from the “sweat of our brows,” but because we are claimed by God. Given this commitment by God to be with us, we have authority in this world to act on God’s behalf. And believe me, when we act on God’s behalf, a little fear of the Lord is healthy : )
Where is the Lord giving you a clear sign that you are God’s child? Where is the Lord giving you Authority to act on God’s behalf?
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to keep in perspective our thoughts on fear and obedience. Help us to know that your covenant with us is everlasting. From this covenant, help us to know that we can and will represent you in this world. Amen.