Daily Readings & Thought for February 27th. ” … TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM”
Today’s readings.. (Leviticus 1,2), (Psalm 103), (1 Corinthians 11)
What is it to “fear” God? It does not mean to be afraid or scared of God – but rather – to be in awe of him: this is the sense in which we encounter the word in verses 11,13 & 17 in today’s 103rd Psalm, “so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him”
We also encounter the phrase, “Bless the LORD, O my soul” in the 1st and 2nd verses. We ‘bless’ our children and we seek for the LORD to bless us, The LORD told Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to “bless the people” and “say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you …” [Numbers 6 v.24] In our seeking to “bless the LORD” – what do we mean? We surely say this with a humble spirit of praise and thankfulness for the relationship he invites us to have with him.
Then we noted the start of Psalm 104. “Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendour and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens …”. The discoveries of man in recent years reveal, among other things, the endless way the heavens have been stretched out. We read in Romans at the beginning of the month, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” [11 v.33]
We bless, i.e. we thank the LORD for so many things. How the angels must bless him! And what is at least part of their work? Remember what we read in Psalm 91 v.11, “he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” And now we note v.20,21 in today’s Psalm. “Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!” We know, as we read earlier this month, “he will send out the angels and gather his elect” [Mark 13 v27] when our world reaches the climax of its godlessness and God acts to “punish the world for its evil.” (see Isaiah 13 v.9-13).
God’s angels are, in a sense, an extension of God, we could say, his ‘spiritual arms’ by which he acts. We read in Hebrews. “the angels … Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” [1 v.13,14] That is clearly their physically unseen role toward us now – which will climax when they are sent out to gather “those who fear him” – and such will say, at that time, with all their heart, “Bless the LORD O my soul.”