Those Who Fear Him

Those who believe in God commonly believe he loves us unconditionally. He blesses us unconditionally. We find solace in that. We hold fast to the belief that as soon as we commit a wrong, even knowing it is incongruent with the God we claim to serve, we are instantly forgiven. We easily send faith into the universe for all the benefits of God, because our father is the creator of that universe. We acquire all that is God’s because we are his children. We believe we are not only loved unconditionally by him, but are promised all his benefits without conditions.

But …

There is a condition. We may erase it the second we read it, but that doesn’t make it go away. We may briefly acknowledge it by claiming that, “Of course, yes, I fear Him,” but that doesn’t make it true.

Do we truly fear Him?

Psalm 103

Of David.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits –
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
the Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbour his anger for ever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children –
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

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Rejuvenate

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Before it turned chilly, I power-washed a couple years of accumulated grime and algae from the siding of our house, drive, and landscaping blocks. It amounted to long hours of standing, aiming the wand, thinking and listening.

The word “rejuvenate” looped in my mind every day I worked.

I heard it as a positive, not from a tone of admonition, as in “How did you let that grime get there?”, or “This is the natural consequence of aging and time.”

No, the word “rejuvenate” was enveloped in a whisper of hope and promise, as in “Do you expect this newness of me?”, or “I am reminding you to look forward to becoming ‘like new; that’s what I do because that’s who I am.”

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Rejuvenate. A verb (used with object), re·ju·ve·nat·ed, re·ju·ve·nat·ing.

To make young again; restore to youthful vigor, appearance, etc.:That vacation has certainly rejuvenated him.
to restore to a former state; make fresh or new again:to rejuvenate an old sofa.

Physical Geography.

  1. to renew the activity, erosive power, etc., of (a stream) by uplift or by removal of a barrier in the stream bed.
  2. to impress again the characters of youthful topography on (a region) by the action of rejuvenated streams.

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Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. …