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06 May 2011

Forgiveness Teaches Fear

I came across a verse in Psalm 130 this morning that popped out at me. I've read it before but it never made me stop and think like this. Here's the passage:

Lord, if You kept a record of our sins,
     who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But You offer forgiveness,
     that we might learn to fear You.
- Psalm 130:3-4 (NLT)

Verse three is one that is incredibly comforting to me: "Lord, if You kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?" God's grace and forgiveness are huge, and if it weren't for His mercy I'd have no hope at all but to be crushed.

But the verse that really hit me this morning was, "But You offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear You." Strong's Hebrew dictionary defines "fear" (יראor "yârê'") this way: "to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten: - affright, be (make) afraid, dread (-ful), (put in) fear (-ful, -fully, -ing). (be had in) reverence (-end), X see, terrible (act, -ness, thing)."

"...That we might learn to fear You." Without consulting a commentary to get thoughts, how does God's forgiveness teach you to fear Him?


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