The Fear of the Lord is to Hope in His Mercy

Posted on Apr 19, 2015


“His delight is not in the strength of a horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” Psalm 147:10-11

The fear of the Lord is a multi-faceted concept in Scripture. In Psalm 147:10 the fear of the Lord is equated with hoping in the loving kindness, the mercy, the steadfast love of the Lord.

This is in contrast to hoping or, to say it another way, trusting in our own strength to face the many and varied challenges that confront us in this life and want to turn us away from faithfulness to the Lord; trusting in our own wisdom and ability for dealing with these challenges (represented by the legs of a man), or relying on the merely temporal and material to cope with these things (represented by the strength of the horse).

Rather than trusting in ourselves, or in things temporal and material, God calls us to trust in Him. To hope in this faithfulness, to rest in His loving kindness, to rest in His unfailing goodness. So to do is to fear the Lord. It is to recognize the reality that He is the faithful One, that He is the unfailing One, that He is the God of truth who fulfills His Word, Who always does righteously, Who never forsakes that which is His, and to respond to that reality by trusting, waiting, resting, hoping in Him. This is the fear of the Lord.

What does the Psalmist say is the response of God to such fear? What is such hope in God to God? It is His delight. It is His pleasure. Far from being a burden to God our hoping in Him, our waiting upon Him, our looking to Him in all life’s challenges delights Him. It pleases Him.

It delights Him, it pleases Him because it honors Him. It glories Him. It shows forth the truth that He alone is the source of all our hope and joy. He alone is the Fount of every blessing. He, alone, is the source of all our good so that when we look to Him He is delighted.

Are you delighting God? Are you pleasing God by hoping in Him, looking toHim, trusting in Him for all your good? Are you bringing delight to the heart of God by glorifying Him in your singular trust in Him for all that you need for the challenges of life that confront you? This is what the Psalmist calls us to.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our example. He perfectly pleased the Father because He unfailing trusted Father for everything that he required in the challenges he faced. Conformity to Christ involves hoping in God.

The Lord Jesus opened the way for us to hope in God by securing life in relationship with God through the redemption that He purchased by His death on the cross, a redemption by which we have forgiveness of our unbelief and lack of trust in God. Have you entered into that life through faith in Jesus Christ?

How do we learn to fear God in this way? We learn this fear through the work of the Spirit through the Word of God growing us in the knowledge of God and strengthening our hearts in trust to Him. It is, ultimately, a work that God does. But we can pursue that working of God through prayerful reading, meditating, memorizing of God’s Word; growing in the knowledge of God.

As you read your Bible ask—what does this passage teach me about God?What does it teach me about His character; about the way He works?

Growing in the fear of the Lord with you,

Pastor Guy