348 Psalm 25 – Real Fear

Last time we ended with verse twelve. I’ve repeated it here because it introduces verses thirteen through fifteen.   

Psalm 25:12-15 (NKJV)

12       Who is the man that fears [YHWH]?

    Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.

           13       He himself shall dwell in prosperity,

    And his descendants shall inherit the earth.

           14       The secret of [YHWH] is with those who fear Him,

    And He will show them His covenant.

           15       My eyes are ever toward [YHWH],

    For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.


There are hundreds of references in the Word of God that use the phrase “Fear of YHWH”. We could spend weeks and weeks and probably not exhaust a study of the phrase. Sadly it would be beyond the scope of our time together to undertake such an adventure in YHWH’s Holy Word. For our study here are the glosses for the Hebrew word fear as listed in Logos Bible Software. “To tremble; to fear, to be afraid; to reverence; to be Godly, upright; to terrify, to put in fear”. It’s fascinating to me that though the translators picked the word “fear” out of the glosses and most of the other glosses have to do with terror or fear, the modern-day believer almost always says, “reverence” when they encounter “the fear of YHWH”. It’s as if YHWH has somehow changed His nature from the Old Testament days to today and fearing Him would be inappropriate. If the Scriptures accurately recorded YHWH’s words, He does not change, therefore fearing Him is an appropriate response. 

In the back of the modern man’s mind is the mistaken notion that fearing YHWH would somehow negate the possibility of a close and loving relationship with Him. This is simply not the case. As a matter of fact, I would suggest that without fear we are much more likely to get the roles in our relationship with the redeemer reversed. If we don’t fear YHWH we may attempt to be the master and relegate His role to servant. Fearing YHWH is healthy. Being “terrified” of His person triggers a sense of awe and a healthy respect for His power, purity, and justice. Furthermore, the Psalmist tells us that YHWH will teach the person who fears Him. 

What will YHWH teach him? The way of YHWH’s choosing. Additionally, the man who fears YHWH will dwell in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the earth! According to verse fourteen, there is another critical thing YHWH will teach the God-fearing man…”The secret of YHWH”! What is the secret of YHWH? Learn it from Him by experiencing the fear of YHWH. All I can tell you is according to the second half of verse fourteen it has something to do with the YHWH’s covenant. David ends this section by revealing that his “eyes are ever toward YHWH…”. The modern way of saying it might be something like, I’m looking for YHWH to deliver me from my enemies. David habitually practiced walking with YHWH. Not in the sense of practicing until he got it right, but more akin to a medical doctor practicing medicine. Looking to and depending upon YHWH was the normal course of David’s life.

How about you? How about me? Do we truly fear YHWH? Do we constantly and continuously look to Him for deliverance? YHWH truly is worthy of all our Praise, Worship, Adoration, Obedience, and Service.


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