I was reading Psalm 103 this morning as part of my Bible Reading Plan on YouVersion. This is a very comforting passage that reminds us of God’s great, eternal love for us. How he forgives us, redeems us, heals us. How he is merciful and slow to anger. Even though he remembers we are just dust with a life span quickly blown away by the wind. When you consider all the people that have lived so far, that’s a lot of love to go around.
A common theme in today’s church is God’s love, but many times the message overlooks the verses scattered about in this Psalm, and elsewhere, that give us a qualification. Psalm 103: 17-18 state, “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.”
What exactly does it mean to fear God? Some define it as reverence or respect. Some water it down as a translation thing. Some ignore it all together. Parental discipline is so lacking in today’s society, you can’t effectively use it as an example any more.
For me personally, fearing God means this: If I disobey him and stop striving for holiness, I don’t fear him. And if I don’t fear him, what does that make the rest of this Psalm mean for me?