From “The Christian’s Reasonable Service,” on sale now at Reformation Heritage Books.
Fifthly, although love for our own well-being is not the basis for the fear of God, we nevertheless may and must be stirred up by it. It is noteworthy that so many blessings are expressed and so many benefits are promised to the godly. Consider the temporal benefits.
(1) There is satisfaction: “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure” (Prov 15:16).
(2) There is sufficient daily supply: “Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! ” (Ps 34:9); “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.” (Ps 33:18-19); “He provides food for those who fear him” (Ps 111:5).
(3) There is sacred protection: “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.” (Ps 34:7).
(4) There is abundance: “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” (Prov 22:4).
(5) There is all salvation: “Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him” (Ps 85:9).
Consider the promises relative to the soul.
(1) There is the revelation of heavenly mysteries: “Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him s will he instruct in the way that he should choose. The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.” (Ps 25:12, 14).
(2) There is divine compassion: “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion v to those who fear him. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,” (Ps 103:13, 17).
(3) There is the answering of prayers: “He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.” (Ps 145:19).
(4) Let me thus bring it all to a conclusion: “Blessed is the man who fears the LORD” (Ps 112:1); “yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God” (Eccles 8:12); “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you” (Ps 31:19). If it pleases the Lord to stir you up by so many benefits and promises, it ought to please you to be stirred up by them. Being desirous for the promises, you must seek their fulfillment in the way whereby the Lord wishes to do so, for the fear of the Lord is so desirable in and of itself.
Be therefore resolved to do so and make it your great endeavor; you will learn from being thus engaged. And since we are too corrupt, turn therefore to the Lord, praying, “Unite my heart to fear your name” (Ps 86:11). Make yourself familiar with the Word of God; it is a means whereby you may fear the Lord. “He shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God” (Deut 17:19). May the Lord bless these words. “Fear God and give him glory” (Rev 14:7). Amen.