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Blessed In Obedience

Daniel Tan

Psalm 128:1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to Him.

Today's verse is pretty simple. Obey God and fear Him, because then you will be rewarded. But let's break down the original Hebrew word here. ‘Fear’, in this case, is not simply being afraid, but a type of reverence. In the same way that a peasant would fear being in the presence of the king, so we are to fear Him. Not in terror or horror, but out of reverence for His position.

Walking in obedience translates to 'walking a way of life'. The Psalmist is saying that by following the statutes of the Lord in fearful reverence of His power, that we will be blessed. Seems fine. Until you consider how strange this is. In the time when these psalms were written, it was basically expected for any citizen to fear their liege and obey the rules without question.

You weren't rewarded for obeying the rules in the same way that you weren't rewarded for breathing. Some of the rules to be obeyed that were set by other nations were even life-threatening at times. But in comparison and contrast, God not only gave very reasonable laws to follow, but also blessed those who were willing to do so.

So such a promise in this psalm would have been unheard of in their time. Actually, even if you compare to the present day, are we rewarded or blessed when we follow the law? No. We are expected to do so or be arrested for infringement of the law. So how strange is it that the Lord would bless us?

We have a God that works in strange ways that make no sense in the eyes of the world. To the rest of the world, it is easy to see the teachings of the Bible as nonsense or even arguably backward thinking; but everything needs to be held in context. The Bible was not written in modern times. And so we need to understand what it meant for those verses to be written in a time when things were very different. But at the same time, we can draw from our experiences in the present and still see how amazing and gracious God is in His dealings with His people.

Daniel Tan

Daniel is currently and forevermore will be a student and a learner, trying to delve into the deep conundrums of life and seeing where the path leads. He enjoys linking different things in life back to God through strange and seemingly random connections.

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