“Fear” in God’s word often has the sense awe. We have delightful examples of this in Psalm 103. “The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made his ways known to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel” (verses 6,7). “His ways” as he made them known to Moses are an example of His working righteousness and justice – it did not happen in a moment, however. In verse 11 we read, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him”.
In verse 13, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him”. This repetition reminded us of Solomon’s saying that “a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) for in verse 17 David states for the third time, “the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him”. All those who have established an ongoing relationship with the Lord, find that a heartfelt sense of awe permeates all their thoughts.
David sets the highest example of seeing the involvement of God in his life – and the Psalms illustrate this time and again. David demonstrates the reality of what Paul meant when he spoke to the Athenians about the “unknown” God, that “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
In Psalm 64 David prays, “Hear my voice O God … preserve my life from dread of the enemy” (verse 1). David had many enemies, his prayer was to be able to rise above any feelings of dread, and this is the wonderful outcome of hearts truly being in awe of God. Every day we feed on His Son, remembering His Son’s words, “I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he (or she) also will live because of me” (John 6:57). The foundation to this is to “feed” on God’s word day by day.