“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.” -Psalm 33:18
Isn’t that an interesting verse? Think about it. Let me read it one more time. Listen closely. “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on.” Who is God looking to? Who does God show favor to? His eye is on him. Who’s God giving particular attention to? The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him. The eye of the Lord, the attention of the Lord, the favor of the Lord is on those who fear him. But then listen to this next phrase, “On those who,” so it’s a parallel phrase, so what we’re about to see is another description of those who fear God. And Psalm 33:18 says, “On those who hope in his steadfast love.”
To fear God is to hope in God’s steadfast love.
Put those two pictures together. To fear God is to hope in God’s steadfast love. That’s not the way we normally think of fear, is it? We think of fear of being afraid of something. If I’m afraid of something, I might want to run from something, I might not want to be near that thing, but to fear God is to hope in God and specifically to hope in his steadfast love. And as we let this soak in more and more, it starts to make sense, doesn’t it?
To fear God means that you don’t fear anything else because you know the God who is sovereign, all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving over everything, you fear him. You worship him. You stand in awe of him. You revere him. And because you do, you know there is nothing this world can do to you, nothing any man or woman can do to you, nothing that could happen to you, that can take away your hope because you fear, revere God and your hope is in him and his love for you.
This is Romans 8. If God is for us, who can be against us? If I fear God and know God, then I don’t fear anything else because I know God is with me. His eye is on me and my hope is in him. If God is for me, who can be against me? And then Romans eight goes on to say, “There’s nothing that can separate us. Neither death, nor life angels or demons or the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height, nor depth nor anything else in all creation can separate us,” from what? From the love of God, in Christ Jesus, our Lord. To fear God is to hope in his steadfast love. Live in this today.
Oh God, may these words be true of us. May Psalm 33:18 be true of each one of us, we pray. God, we pray that we would be men and women, students, children who are listening to this right now, who fear you, who revere you, who know you, who love you, glorify you. And as we do, as we know you and fear you and revere you and worship you, we hope in you and we hope specifically in your steadfast love for us. Oh God, we praise you for the confidence we have today that there is nothing that will come our way in this world for which we have to be afraid because we fear you.
Think about saints of old. It was said that they feared man so little because they feared God so much. God, I pray that would be true of my life. I pray that it would be true of our lives. God, teach us to fear you and to hope in your steadfast love, to not put our hope in man or woman, not to put our hope in the things of this world that come and go, that fade away, to put our hope in your love that is steadfast, that is unfading, that will never, ever, ever fail us. Your love will never fail us, so we hope in your love and we fear your name and we pray that in this, oh God, may your eyes be upon us.
God, I pray that in my life. I pray that for every single person listening right now, praying this with me right now. God, may your eyes be upon us today as people who fear you and who say together, “We hope in your steadfast love, your unfailing love all day long, today and tomorrow and the next day and the next day and for all of eternity.” Oh God, teach us to fear you and to hope in your steadfast love all day long. And may your eye be upon us all day long according to your word, in Jesus’ name, amen.