The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring for ever.
The injunction ‘do not be afraid’ occurs 81 times in the NIV and just one of these occurrences in Revelation 1.17 reads as follows
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.”
Presented with a vision of the glorious, risen Son of God, John is terrified and awestruck and falls as if dead but is graciously told not to be afraid, for the one standing before him is ‘The First and the Last’, ‘The Living One’ who ‘was dead and is alive for ever and ever. A glorious commentary on our phrase from Psalm 19 this morning.
Isaiah had a similar experience recorded for us in chapter 6, where he sees the Lord in all his glory and is made v.5, aware of his uncleaness, a sense that is brought on by the purity and the holiness of God.
Then in Ezekiel 1, again confronted with a vision of ‘The appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD’, Ezekiel falls face down, only to be told to ‘stand up’ by the LORD in order to receive his commission. (2.1)
Let us learn from these scriptures this morning, that:
*The fear of the LORD is not the fear which we experience when in dangerous or unknown situations but a humble recognition of the glory and majesty of God which should drive us to our knees in worship and submission.
*We can respond like this because we are told that this fear is ‘pure’ and so we can commit ourselves without fear or doubting, knowing that the LORD has only our good and our blessing in his plans for us.
*This relationship is not passing for the LORD is eternal.
As the words of the hymn put it –
Oh taste and see that he is good
Experience will decide
How blessed are they and only they
Who in the LORD confide.
Fear him ye saints and you will then
Have nothing else to fear
Make serving him your sole delight
Your wants shall be his care.
LORD God, help me today and every day to walk in the pure fear of who you are and enable me to serve you with pure delight and thus glorify you.