Fear the Lord-it leads to blessings!

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom is a classic line found multiple times in the Old Testament.  Within each reference we are told additional reasons for fearing the Lord.  Psalm 111 tells about the Lord’s greatness and ends with verse 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;  all who follow his precepts have good understanding.  To him belongs eternal praise.”    This verse closes Psalm 111 and leads into Psalm 112, one which scholars call its twin.  Psalm 112 speaks of a godly man and how following the Lord brings him an abundant life.  Praise the Lord!  Blessed is psalm 112the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!”   The phrase ‘fear of the Lord’ is equated with reverence, awe and respect.  So having great respect for the Lord and His Word and following the precepts (principles) of His Word will bring blessing and delight.  The psalmist continues on for 8 more verse explaining how fearing the Lord brings blessings to the believer.

His offspring will be mighty in the land;        Children productive and blessed.
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,                He will have physical 
and his righteousness endures forever.            and spiritual success before God. 
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;    He will be of good character.
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;    His character will be
    who conducts his affairs with justice.                filled with generosity and justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;               He will stand firm in faith and
he will be remembered forever.                             be well remembered.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.             He trusts the Lord in all circumstances.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;  
his righteousness endures forever;                   He will reap the fruits of his
    his horn is exalted in honor.                                  generosity and faith.

What amazing blessings await the man who fears the Lord and delights in Him.  The psalmist concludes with verse 10 which is a striking contrast to the blessed man.  The wicked man sees it and is angry;  he gnashes his teeth and melts away;  the desire of the wicked will perish!”    

Blessings lookAs you journey through this day, ponder how wonderful it is to fear the Lord and how blessed you are for finding your delight in Him!

Linda

 

    

Integrity- is it attainable?

 

Psalm 119        Beth

psalm 119 11How can a young person stay pure?
    By obeying your word.
10 I have tried hard to find you—
    don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

The Psalmist begins part 2 of Psalm 119 by questioning how can you keep yourself pure or living uprightly with integrity?  This is a question that both young and old ask themselves daily.  The psalmist confesses he is seeking God and asks God’s help in staying true or close to God’s ways.  He wants to be obedient and walk with God.  He then gives the action he has taken to stay true to God.  He has hidden God’s Word in His heart to protect himself from temptation and sinning.   God’s solution for keeping us close to Him and keeping us away from sinful actions is to have us immerse ourselves in His Word and commit it to memory.  Why is this an answer?  God in His wisdom knows that we need to imprint His Word and His ways upon our hearts.  Memorizing or internalizing the Word of God does that for our heart, mind and soul.  How long has it been since you memorized a piece of scripture?  It is easy to get started.  Choose a favorite verse, write it on a card or use the App Scripture Typer on your phone and review it daily.  Before you know it you will have it memorized and ready for recall when you need it most.  Recalling Scripture gives you strength and power to walk with integrity, just as Jesus would have you do.

The Jews had a portion of scripture in the Old Testament that they recited twice a day.  The Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, was their confession of faith.  God is wise and wants us to know His word and have it in our hearts and on our lips. He knew that having these words on their lips repeatedly would help to keep them focused and walking with Him.  “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

shemaMay you delight in God’s Word today!

Linda