Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
They could not believe their eyes. In fact, one of them felt like he might fall over at any moment. Their favorite player, a legend of the game, had come not only to watch them play but to give them some pointers. They listened intently and said little. Any words they were able to put together were quiet and respectful. It was not the raucous locker room it normally would have been before a game. These guys understood who stood before them, and they honored him for who he was. Even the coach thought that some miracle must have happened to make his team behave so well at a time when he would expect them to simply go wild. Because they had an understanding of who this man was and who they were in relationship to him, they knew that their duty was to treat him as the legend he was.
Fear is not one-dimensional in the context of today’s passage. When we fear the Lord, it is with awe-inspired reverence and obedience. To fear the Lord means that we understand who He is and who we are, and we recognized that we were created to glorify him. It is our duty not only to honor and worship him but to obey him. That duty, however, need not feel like a forceful hand. We should consider it an honor to serve God the way we might consider it an honor to serve a person we consider an inspiration or a legend in our lives. Think of the respect and hospitality you might show to your favorite writer or musician or evangelist if he or she where to visit you. It would be a joy to welcome and serve that person. It would be exciting and pleasurable. That should be how we approach our rightful fear of God.
This is how awesome God is. When we have a rightful fear of him and live that out, He blesses not only us but those who come after us. Today’s scripture gives us a promise that the one who fears God and delights in his instruction will see blessings carry on even to the next generation. This should make us realize that the way we handle our relationship with God does not affect our lives alone. The way we live as Christians comes with promises and blessings for others as well. It is an embarrassment of riches. We get the joy and the honor of faithfully living for the Lord, and through that we sow blessings not only into our lives but into the generations to come. Father, teach us what it means to fear you as you should be feared so that we may guarantee a blessing for those who come after us.