As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:13)
Today’s big question: how do we respond to the authority of the Father?
In the past 13 devotionals, we have seen many aspects of the authority of the Father, and that His authority applies to every area of life. God’s Word goes further and tells us how we should respond to His fatherhood—Psalm 103:13 is one such example.
Before we look at how we should fear God, we need to look at the relationship of an earthly father with his children. Many times when we consider fear, we think of it in terms of being scared or afraid. Sadly, there are cases in which children are afraid of their earthly father for various reasons—such as drunkenness—but this type of fear is ultimately because of sin.
However, this is not the case when it comes to our heavenly Father; the analogy that this passage uses is one of reverence. In fact, the Hebrew word translated as “fear” can mean reverence. Paul wrote, “‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise” (Ephesians 6:2). We are to honor our earthly father, which includes respect and reverence.
So we are to revere our heavenly Father. After all, God is the Father of all creation, which makes Him the authority over everything the authority over everything. God is also the Father of believers in that He has adopted us as sons, so believers are, indeed, His children. The more we learn about the fatherhood of God, the more we should respond with awe, respect, and reverence toward God.
Reverence (respect) is something that is earned and/or deserved (not just given without cause). God both deserves and has earned our reverence at least a million times over, as He is the one and only God (Isaiah 45:5) and has lovingly bestowed His grace on us. The many idols of the world should never be feared, as Scripture states the following:
For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. (1 Chronicles 16:25–26)
The idols of the world have been made by man, yet God is the Creator of man. An idol never made the heavens, but God did. God, our Father, is an awesome God! When we think of the authority of the Father, our response should always be one of fear—respect and reverence.
Today’s big idea: we should fear God as children revere their father.
What to pray: thank God for His awesome character, and ask Him to help us not forget it.