O fear the Lord , ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. – Psa 34:9 KJV
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The foundation scripture for today’s devotional is a psalm attributed to King David. He is said to have written the psalm as a fugitive running away from King Saul. He had arrived Nob where Ahimelech was the presiding Priest, asking for something to eat and was given the bread of presence which was lawful for only priests to eat. After eating and taking possession of the sword of Goliath, which he (David) had earlier taken from him after defeating him in one of the several battles between the Israelites and the Philistines (1Sam. 17:1-51), he fled to Gath where he thought he could hide but the servants of King Achish thinking they had made a big capture took him to the king revealing his military prowess and conquests. This got him scared and he decided to feign madness, an act which convinced the King that he posed no harm and so allowed him to stay amongst his people – 1Sam. 21:1-6. Both events were yet additional proofs of God’s protection and guidance for those who fear and revere Him.
Although the entire psalm is of great interest, today’s devotional is focused mainly on the reference verse which is more of an advise from someone who is rightly positioned to offer it. This is because not only had he benefitted from living a life that is based on the fear of the Lord and had by that prospered, but had also witnessed several people who did not fear the Lord become losers despite their positions and possessed powers. Anyone in his situation, who knows what little contribution he/she made to achieve victory over a giant and great warrior like Goliath would expectedly react the same way as David did, that is if such is honest and grateful, just as the wisdom to feign madness and thus escape being killed by King Achish must have been surprising to him. In the case of Goliath, he must have wondered to himself what motivated him to even accept a challenge from such a powerful figure in the first place. He knew that ordinarily, there was no way he could have successfully challenged Goliath without the support of the Almighty God. He knew that all he had to do was to acknowledge the Almighty God for Him to support his cause. It was not because of any personal skills as even the weapons of war that he was given were going to constitute an obstacle on his way. It was the Almighty God from beginning to the end – Rev. 1:8; 22:13. The only difference between himself and the other Israelite warriors was his dependence on the Almighty God and his fear of him. Fear because he is aware that only Him can do the impossible and so he relied on Him and was not shamed – Matt. 19:26; Lk. 1:37.
Some people may have approached him wanting to know what the source of his power and boldness is and his response may just have been in that advise as stated in today’s scripture which is that, even as a Saint of the Most High, one must never stop fearing the Lord. He has no doubt that the one who fears the Lord lacks nothing required for success in life. What a wonderful revelation from this man who the Almighty God regarded in very high esteem. Every consideration of the Lord for the Israelites rested on the relationship that the Almighty God had with him some of which can be found in the following scriptures; 2Kgs. 8:19; 2Kgs. 19:34; Isa. 37:35 and several others. If there was any secret to his many victories and conquests, then that is it and nothing else. For the proverbial doubting Thomases, they will not believe, but the one who truly intends to build a long lasting relationship with God must take this advise seriously and as truth.
Israelites and most Christians today cannot boast of the same level of conquests that David achieved despite all the challenges he faced because they simply do not fear the Lord. They lay claims to saintly actions but yet cannot overcome great battles of life simply because they do not fear Him. They worship Him in truth but display so much disrespect for Him, even in the course of those acts of worship that indicates that His grace over their lives is being taken for granted.
To fear someone or something is to be convinced that such a person or thing can inflict unbearable and negative experiences that undesirable. In that situation, the one that is afraid, which is the adjective for fear, keeps a respectable distance from such a person or thing and where such cannot be avoided, then approach is made with great caution, mostly to avoid the repercussion of getting on the wrong side of such a person. To fear the Lord will be to be very conversant with His dos and donts and ensuring strict adherence to them all to avoid the repercussion of transgressing them. The one who fears the Lord will benchmark all actions against what pleases Him and will avoid completely all those actions that are offensive to Him. There is simply no giving of excuse for disobedience to the Lord by the one who fears Him.
That however is not the case with Christians as they will rather disobey and be expecting to be forgiven and such transgressions overlooked. Worse case scenario as far as they are concerned is to go through pain until they repent and the affliction will cease. Such actions simply shows lack of regard for him as He is being taken for granted because of his graciousness. Sinning deliberately with the intention that forgiveness will be granted once sins are confessed may be true but it will never go without consequences – 2Sam. 12:14-21; 24:1-16; . Every action that indicates the lack of fear for the Lord will definitely produce a level of loss for the individual and that will produce lack in the long term. Man may be forgiven but will definitely experience losses for not fearing the Lord. This explains why many Christians worship the Lord and still lack. By getting involved in acts of disrespect to his instructions probably by grumbling, murmuring, back-biting and other similar acts, they actually make it clear that they do not fear what the Lord can do to them in such circumstances. That will be a challenge to Him and He will never shy away from such challenges and the only victim of such confrontation will definitely be the individual.
Do all that is necessary to fear the Lord in all your activities by assuring yourself that only His Will is being implemented at all times. The one who does not do this will definitely put up an act that will challenge Him at some point or the other and should be prepared for the consequences, but the one who fears Him will walk in his Will and there definitely will be no lack for such as such will access divine wisdom. Fear Him in all you do and you will definitely not lack. May this be the attitude of all of us who regard ourselves as His Saints in Jesus name. Amen.