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Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest. Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest.

Daily Devotional | Learning God’s Ways

Not only do most Americans lack a proper fear of the Lord, but an increasing number also don’t even believe He exists. Through the 1960s, Gallup polls found that 98 percent of Americans believed in God. Now that number is down to 81 percent, and only 68 percent for young adults ages 18–29. That might sound okay, but only half of the total thinks God hears or responds to prayers.

Why is it appropriate to fear the Lord? Because His thoughts are far above our thoughts, and His ways are far above our ways (vv. 8 9). This is illustrated in His providential care for creation (v. 10). God’s greatness is therefore not a scary but a faith- inspiring reality. He’s not greater in a distant, uncaring sense, but rather governs the earth in a way that results in “seed for the sower and bread for the eater.”

God’s greatness means that His word does not return “empty” or ineffective (v. 11). It “will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Only the sovereign Lord of the universe could make such a guarantee. Such power is far beyond our comprehension.

Should we flee from such an amazing Being? No. We should draw near and worship. We should seek Him and call on Him (v. 6). Specifically, because God is holy and loving, we should repent of sin, turn to Him, and accept His mercy and forgiveness (v. 7). Because He is who He is, the people of Israel could trust that their exile would one day be over and there would be a homecoming (vv. 12–13).

God’s awesome attributes (such as power) and His personal attributes (such as love) are all infinitely greater than our comprehension. This is why a right fear of the Lord stirs up fear and trembling alongside love and trust.

Go Deeper

Are we uncomfortable with God’s greatness? Do we try to reduce Him to our level with slogans, such as “God is my co-pilot”? How and why do we do this?

Pray with Us: Jesus, give us a heart that is willing to hear Your truth and learn Your ways an open and obedient heart. Yes, Your power is beyond our comprehension, but Your love and mercy change hearts of stone and open blind eyes.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He is the author of On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

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