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August 3, 2009
"The Amethyst Ring" - Part 3
"Intimacy with God through the fear of the Lord"
In previous parts of "The Amethyst Ring" (see Devotional Archive) I talk about the inheritance that I longed for from my mother when she died. Psalm 34 is important to me because it describes how King David deals with one of the greatest threats in his life. It prescribes an antidote to my fears. The antidote is The Fear of the Lord - turning our paralyzed selves to be free, joyful, and productive children of the reigning monarch, King Jehovah!
Psalm 34:1 (ESV) "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth! The first step is to sing praises and worship God! (Because everything is right? No! You sing praises TO SOMEONE. David is resolved and fixed. Not "I feel like it," but "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth!") That means in every situation, under every circumstance, before, and during trials. He would never be done praising because he would never be satisfied that he had done enough. Not just in his heart, but with his mouth!
Vs. 2. "My soul makes its boast in the Lord. . ." What scope there is for holy boasting in Jehovah! Boasting in His character, His ways, His covenant, His promises, and confirming other people's trust in a faithful God!
Vs. 3. "O, magnify the LORD with me. . ." When one uses binoculars to see something in the distance, everything close at hand will blur out.
p;nbsp; Vs. 4. "I sought the Lord and He answered me. . ." How confused David was. Resorting to lunacy, yet his poor limping prayer had an acceptance and brought him comfort: the more reason for celebrating the abounding mercy of the Lord. If sin could blockade the mercy seat it would be all over for us, but the mercy is that there are gifts even for the rebellious.
Vs. 4b. ". . .and delivered me from all my fears!" Oh! God makes a perfect work of it. He clears away both our fears and their causes.
Vs. 5. "Those who look to Him are radiant. . ." What a means of blessing when one concentrates of the Lord. There is new vitality, liberty, and love in looking at the Crucified One!
Vs. 5b. ". . .and their faces shall never be ashamed." Their faces were covered with joy not shame right in His presence.
Vs. 6. "This poor man cried. . ." Here David returns to His own case. So utterly rejected, friendless, his life is in jeopardy. His prayer was a cry, a poor man's cry but none the less powerful in heaven, for the Lord heard him! And to be heard of God is to be delivered "and saved out of all his troubles!"
Vs. 7. "The Angel of the LORD encamps around those that fear him, and delivers them." ; What a promise to rely on! You may not be "delivered" from the particular trial, but you have the certainty that He will be with you IN that trial, and He will deliver you from fear.
Vs. 8. "O, taste and see. . ." make a trial, an inward experimental trial of the goodness of God. You cannot see except by "tasting" it yourself.
Vs. 9. "O, fear the LORD, you His saints. . ." Pay to the Lord humble childlike reverence. Walk in His laws. Obey His will. Tremble to offend Him. Hurry to serve Him. Don't fear the anger of men. Don't be tempted to sin because of their threats. Fear God and fear nothing else. Can you just imagine being pleasing to the Lord?
Vs. 9b. "For those who fear Him have no lack!" Fear of man and circumstances is immobilizing, oppressive and full of torment. After Psalm 34 David is no longer paralyzed by fear. He is actually motivated by the fear of the Lord. David started in the fear of the enemy and ended in the fear of the Lord.
Yes, that morning was a turning point in my life with God. It became an ANCHOR for me. Walking in the fear of the Lord wipes out the fear of man. And as it grew, so did my hope! And with my hope came a longing to have the fear of the Lord active in my life.
It is a good thing. It is a clean thing. It gives me new confidence in who my God is and who I am in relation to Him. Besides that, it gives me a promise. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!"
All my life I had been troubled by saying the wrong thing at the right time. (Or the right thing at the wrong time!) My Chinese name was "Heavenly Reasoning" and my family laughed when they heard the translation. Oh, it was all in good fun, but I knew why they were laughing. All my life I had been troubled by my lack of natural wisdom. I thought age would bring it and that's why I always wanted to be older than I was! I loved every birthday, thinking that surely this time I was getting wiser! Little did I know that God was going to hand me the key to my inheritance: The fear of the Lord leads to wisdom, joy, and intimacy with God. I would receive far more than mother's amethyst ring!
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