Lets take a closer look at Psalm 34.
If we can learn anything as a lesson from this pandemic, it is that man has very little control over life. In just a matter of days, the world as we knew it, changed. This should bring us to a place of humble adoration and “fear of God.”
In this psalm, David mentions “fear of the Lord” four times. What does it mean to fear the Lord? It does not mean terror, or fear of something evil that could harm you. It means that you recognize that your life is at the gracious mercy of God. In essence, it is recognition that God is in control, and that you and I, are not.
Our flesh tends to push back when we think about that, doesn’t it? It actually takes humility and surrender of our pride to give acknowledgment that we are not in control. David says this in verse 2. He says, “My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.”
But David also points out that there are other blessings to fearing the Lord:
Some of us equate God’s blessing with physical or material blessing. That is not what David is talking about. In fact, David equates himself with “a poor man” and a man who is “troubled” in verse 6. He says that, “the Lord is near the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (in verse 18).
So what benefit then, is there to fearing the Lord in reality? Fearing the Lord does not mean that we will not face hardships, physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. Look at this pandemic: those who fear the Lord and those that don’t, are facing the same kinds of trials. But those who fear the Lord have the confidence that God is in control, and He is working all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His plan (Romans 8:28). We can rest in peace knowing that God is near to us and that this is not the end for us. Even in death, we can celebrate the fact that we will spend an eternity with our heavenly father!
Fear the Lord in recognition that He is in control. And since He is good, gracious, merciful, and loves us, this should bring us peace!