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A CALL TO FEAR THE LORD

Daily Devotional Psalm 33:1–9


A rich French horn call opens one of my favorite classical music pieces, Piano Concerto No. 2 by Johannes Brahms. As the horn call rises, the piano’s notes meet it in the air, and we are drawn into the beautiful first movement.


Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.

PSALM 33:8


That’s how a good call to worship works as well: we are drawn in by poetic words to praise the Lord. Psalm 33 is a call to worship, which is also a call to fear the Lord. Do we think of these two actions as joined? Today’s verse calls all the earth to “fear” Him, which in the second and parallel line becomes “revere” Him (v. 8). To fear the Lord means to wor- ship Him in awe and reverence.


What does fear of the Lord look like? You might be surprised. It looks like joy, singing, and praise (vv. 1–3). God is worthy of worship because He is righteous, just, faithful, and loving (vv. 4–5), as well as creative, powerful, and sovereign in authority (vv. 6–7, 9).


Ordinary human fear makes us want to run away, like the victim in a horror movie. The fear of the Lord, by contrast, makes us want to draw nearer to Him. He is awe-inspiring and infinitely greater than us, but at the same time He faithfully loves us. One source therefore defines “fear” in verse 8 as “to demonstrate respect for the Lord’s power and authority by worshiping him and obeying his commandments” (see Prov. 14:2).


This month, we will study what it means to fear the Lord. We will learn the implications for our spiritual lives. And we’ll look at biblical examples that show what it means to fear (or not fear) the Lord. As we grow in our fear of the Lord it will deepen our relationship with Him.


Go Deeper


What does it mean to fear the Lord? How and why can godly fear exist alongside love, joy, and hope (see also Ps. 33:18)?


Pray with Us:


Dear God, as we begin this study, we pray that You will deepen our understanding of the true, godly fear and reverence. We want to know You and worship You in Spirit and in truth.

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