As I studied this verse I discovered that the Hebrew word for afraid, Yare, has two separate meanings. The first is the negative emotion of fearful…while the second is the positive emotion of reverence and awe for God. So what David is explaining here is that in the time of fear he consciously shifted his mind from one meaning to the other… from dwelling on a negative emotion to focusing on a positive one. So instead of standing on the shifting sands of fear and anxiety David planted his feet firmly and confidently on the solid rock of Christ.
Fall in Illinois is beautiful foliage…for the trees are ablaze with red, yellow and orange leaves. Fall is also harvest time for the farmers…bringing in the crops of corn and soybeans out of the fields. As I look at the beauty around me, I can only thank God for His majesty and creative work. And as I stand in awe and reverence of His faithfulness and love for His people, it reminds me it’s this reverence…this fear of the Lord that is crucial in our Christian walk. For it tells us in Isaiah 33:6, “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” Being in awe of God’s creation and thanking Him for it is not groveling at His feet…it’s simply admitting there is Someone a whole lot bigger than me in control!
This verse has been used out of context many times. But to look at it correctly, we must read the verse before it. In Ephesians 5:21 we are told to submit to one another out of reverence to Christ. When we are subject to one another, we take on the heart of a servant…putting the needs of others first. In that context then, wives are submitting or placing in an orderly fashion the family unit…with all parties acting in the interest of another.
In Luke 11:1 it tells us that the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him to teach them how to pray. This verse is the start then of what we call The Lord’s Prayer….undoubtedly the most perfect prayer we could ever utter. The prayer starts off by firmly placing the focus God, our heavenly Father. Jeremiah 3:19 tells us that God wants us to call Him Father, but not like any earthly father…for we are to revere His authority and divinity in light of redemption.
Everyday we have to make the decision to either accept the world’s view or to trust God with His vision. We can either be driven by fear, gloom and doom in a world of pessimism and distrust, or we can stand on God’s Word with hope and confidence, knowing He’s still in control. It all boils down to asking yourself one question, “Whose report do you believe today?” Is your faith and trust in the world or the Creator of it?
It asks in Psalm 24:4, “Who may stand in His Holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol.” To stand in the presence of the most Holy God is a place of reverence, but also refuge. It’s a place of refreshment, rejoicing and reflection. But it’s also a place of rebuilding and reconciliation. Spend some time today in the Lord’s presence to fully experience His love, peace and perspective.
In ancient Greco-Roman Society, slaves were looked upon as a commodity…but often it was slaves that served in stations of great responsibly, with rank and privilege. Fast forward to modern times and the common work place. Your approach at work will speak louder than any Bible verse you have taped up at your desk. Your manner of helping others without an ulterior motive will shine brighter than any religious plaque . When you honor God in the everyday grind by being that positive, giving individual…(even when the boss isn’t watching)…you show others what it’s like to be Christ-like. Like the ancient slaves, you have been given great responsibility in your workplace…it’s to be an ambassador for Christ, and a lover of people.