The Blessings of Fearing God; May 4, 2023

Psalm 112:1 Praise the Lord.
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who finds great delight in his commands.

This anonymous Psalm certainly paints a desirable picture for us to aim for. Japanese grammar expresses this verse more on the lines of, “It is a blessed thing when a person fears the Lord and takes great delight in His commands.” We certainly want such blessings! So why do we often fail to fear the Lord and delight in what He tells us? That’s because we are deceived by the devil and our flesh into chasing after anything but God. This is exemplified by the song, My Way, made famous by Frank Sinatra, who certainly lived as that song depicts. How totally empty and pathetic! To get things right, we first have to acknowledge that there is an absolute authority, and we aren’t it. For that matter, neither is the government, and that’s why totalitarian regimes of all stripes suppress religion, replacing God with the State. That’s most obvious in North Korea, but China is coming in a close second these days. They would love this verse if only it said State instead of Lord! However, a person with spiritual perception will realize that no human organization can be perfect, or even close to it. (That includes churches and denominations, but that’s another discussion.) We need to grasp that the focus of this verse, and actually the whole Psalm, isn’t the person (though it seems to be) but the Lord whom he fears and trusts. (verse 7) When our heart is fixed on the Lord and being obedient to Him, the blessings that accrue are beyond counting.

I had the incredible blessing of being raised by a man who fit the description in this Psalm. There’s a bit of irony in the mention of “his heart,” because my father didn’t wake up after heart surgery at 64, but that was just the physical. Otherwise, it seems like a description of his life. Even now I hear stories of him, and I am humbled. I doubt I will be awarded anything at my death the way he was given a very high award from the emperor at his, but like him I will receive the crown of life, (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10) which is infinitely more important. Having had that example, it is easier for me than perhaps for many to follow this verse. I certainly pray that I will do so faithfully, accomplishing God’s purposes for His glory.

Father, once again I am in awe of how You have blessed me, and impressed with how it is totally grace, and not anything I have earned. If anything, I should have been disqualified from having received the blessings! Help me be the steward You want me to be of all that You have poured out on me, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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