Weird. Paradoxical. Doesn’t seem to fit.
Here are two things … delight and fear … that Nehemiah is putting together (Neh 1.11). As I pondered this, I tried to grasp it in my own life. What would this look like? How would I really live this out?
And here are my thoughts …
I get fear of the Lord. He deserves reverence. He is powerful. He could crush me. With a mere whisper, nations fall. He calms storms, splits seas, stops the sun, send down fire. Floods the earth, opens the ground to devour rebels, and more.
But fear is more then tremble. It is reverence, have an awe, and worship. To fear is to walk humbly in his ways. To acknowledge he alone is worthy and to remain obedient.
So this is where the delight comes in to the picture. if we fear him as such – powerful God whom I worship and obey – then our lives have meaning, our lives align with the desires of the creator and sustainer of eternity, and we are on the side of him who is all powerful and dreadful.
We realize …
- That He is great and we are small
- That He is all wise and we are foolish
- That He is holy and we are sinful
- That He controls the universe and we can’t even control our very lives
So we fear him, obey him, trust him. And this great God is for us and not against us.
And with that – I delight.
For to have him against me would bring a dreadful fear, not a delightful one.
So fear him … and delight that he is for us not against us.