Ascent Psalms: Psalm 128

Read Ascent Psalm 128 (preferably the MESSAGE translation if possible).

“All you who fear God, how blessed are you!” (Psalm 128:1).

Fearing God, for some, may be as outmoded as a dial telephone, a typewriter, or even a radio. Modern technology speeds past dinosaurs like me. Sadly, sometimes folks treat their relationship with God in similar fashion. For some, taking time for family devotions around a table at mealtime is ancient ritual. Well, I’m here to say that Christians can do spiritual things differently, but a relationship with God is not optional.

So what does it mean to “fear God”? For sure God does not want us to be afraid of our Heavenly Father. No, “shaking in our boots” is not a prerequisite for approaching God’s throne of grace. A healthy dose of respect, courtesy, honor and devotion for God will always be appropriate. It can be done uniquely, creatively, and spontaneously age-appropriate. To “fear God” is an old English expression for reverence, admiration, consideration and attention. It is closely linked to the first commandment we learned in catechism: Love God with all your heart and soul and mind! Now that’s one big challenge! We can’t do it on our own, but God calls us to do it still! God’s Spirit helps us.

This morning, September first, in my devotional reading from Oswald Chambers’ MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, I read from the apostle Peter, “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16 NIV). For a human being to be holy is impossible, but Chambers states, “The one thing that matters is whether a man (person) will accept the God who will make him (her) holy. At all costs a man (person) must be rightly related to God.” This statement could send shivers of fear up and down my spine if I did not know of the love of Jesus in my life. Thanks to Jesus, He models a loving, faithful relationship with His father. Thanks to Jesus, He forgives my negligence of God. Thanks to Jesus, His love helps me to desire daily, closer ties with God. As that happens, it becomes a blessing for my family and me! My dad and mom long ago taught me that devotions are important!

Dear Jesus, I want to talk and walk with You without fright or that killer called “guilt.” Help me to hear and respond to Your promises of forgiveness and joy, Jesus.