Psalm 2:11 Serve the Lord with fear
and rejoice with trembling.
This verse captures some of the complexity of fallible, finite creatures like us relating to an infinite, perfectly holy God. He doesn’t need us, but we can serve Him just the same. The awesomeness of His majesty is more than we can fully contemplate, but there is incredible joy in it. By very definition there are problems to the finite relating to the infinite, but God, being Love as well as being infinite, makes it possible anyway. However, ever since the Garden of Eden mankind has tended to take those issues lightly, presuming on God’s love and grace and assuming a level of equality with Him that is absurd even to think about. God, being Love, truly wants us to rejoice on many levels, but to do that fully we have to grasp just how amazing His grace really is. A Christian song from within the past few years says, “I am a friend of God,” based on John 15:15, but when we presume on that we get ourselves into deep trouble. As this verse says, we need to serve Him with fear and rejoice with trembling.
I could be a poster boy for this issue. I was raised to love Jesus and know that God loved me, and I am more than grateful for that. However, that didn’t translate into a sufficient fear of the Lord for too much of my life. I can’t say I’ve got it down perfectly even now. As a pastor I seek to help people understand God’s love for them, but to do that they’ve also got to understand how totally holy He is, and how hopeless they are without the atoning work of Christ on the cross. I’ve never been a “hellfire and brimstone” preacher, and in general I think such preaching is counterproductive, but I must not neglect teaching people about the penalty for sin, and specifically their sin. One of the messages from the Pastors’ Conference in June was on that subject, but I have been unable to resurrect it properly in my memory, and I have no recording of it. I need to be quiet enough before the Lord to let Him speak it directly to my heart, just as He caused it to resonate in the conference. I too need to serve Him with fear and rejoice with trembling!
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for constantly working on more levels than I could possibly grasp. Help me not overthink things, but obey You fully and rejoice with childlike simplicity as Your child, purchased with the blood of the Lamb. Thank You. Praise God!