Love and Fear

“My flesh trembles for fear of you,
and I am afraid of your judgments.” Psalm 119.120

Yesterday, we looked at how God’s righteous judgment of the wicked caused the psalmist’s love for Scripture to grow. This verse highlights the flip-side of that coin. God’s judgment also increases his reverential fear of the Lord.

With these two verses, we have a full picture of the effect God’s holiness should have on our hearts. When we understand the holiness of God—when we understand that, in his perfect holiness, he will judge evil and wickedness—we should rejoice in the grace he has shown us. We should also love his law and tremble with reverential fear.

Take some time to consider the holiness of God. He is completely other than all of his creation. His very essence is righteous, pure, and good. Because of this, he cannot tolerate evil, and he executes perfect judgment. No one escapes his perfect justice. 

If you’re a believer, this ought to give you a greater appreciation for the mercy shown to you, a greater love for his word and its prescriptions for your life, and a reverential fear of our holy God. How often does this truth captivate your thoughts and meditations?

Holy Lord, teach us to tremble in awe of your holiness. Give us, gracious Father, a truer knowledge of you, your will for our lives, and your righteous plans for your creation. May that understanding increase our love and fear. Amen.

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