Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love, that He may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
- Psalm 33.18, 19
The love of God embraces the whole world and powerfully restrains wandering thoughts. Fear is the master of repentance. The love of God determines the fervor of our piety.
- The Rule of Comghall, Irish, 6th century
Again we encounter the combination of fear and love with respect to our attitude toward God.
The fear of God leads us to repent of sin, since we know what He is capable of as sovereign Lord and Judge. The love of God ignites true piety in us, making us eager to know, serve, and please the Lord because of His mercy toward us.
The promise of the psalmist is that God keeps a close watch on those who thus fear and love Him. Not that His eyes are not upon all His creatures at all times; rather, He attends more personally, and with more constant nurturing care, to those who walk with Him according to His will – in both fear and love.
We nurture the fear of God by meditating on the greatness of His might and the holiness of His being, and by being brutally honest about our own sins and what they deserve. We can do this without fear of annihilation, moreover, because we know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. And here, in the very depths of our fear of God, is where we discover the love we have for Him. True love for God makes us eager to seek Him, that we may encounter His glory and be strengthened in His truth and love.
We cannot have a proper relationship with God unless both of these affections are in place in our hearts and growing. Today, earnestly hope in the steadfast love of the Lord – His constant, loving care of you in all your ways and needs. And take the time to nurture fear of Him by confessing your sins against the backdrop of His supreme holiness.
Then let fervent piety lead you to bask in His loving forgiveness and renewing grace throughout the day.
In the fear and love of God we may confidently expect to know His glory, and to show Him to the world.
Psalm 33.8, 9 (Truro: “Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns”)
Let all below now fear the Lord; let all in awe of Him abide!
The worlds exist by Jesus’ Word; let all on earth in Him confide.
O God, Lord of heaven and earth, O Son of God, begotten before the ages, O God the Holy Spirit – true, single, most exalted: Grant that I may both fear and love You as I ought! Adapted from Colum Cille, Altus Prosator
T. M. Moore, Principal