17 December 2010

Fearing God's Goodness

Hosea 3:4-5 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.

The above passage is one of great doctrinal and prophetic import.  And I’ve read it and heard it many, many times without ever paying attention to something peculiar about that last phrase, where it is prophesied that the children of Israel will fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days. 

When I think about the fear of the LORD, I think of a proper recognition of and respect for God’s justice, God’s judgment, and God’s holiness.  God’s goodness, in my mind, has never really entered the equation. 

But there it is in the scripture.  And if it’s something Israel is going to do, and it’s a good thing, perhaps we ought to get in on it. 

One of the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary definitions for fear is “reverence; respect; due regard.”  Perhaps we can take from this another reminder of our need to be more mindful, more appreciative, more grateful for the undeserved blessings God pours out upon us daily. 

Any other ideas on what it means to fear the Lord’s goodness?

Some cross references to the goodness of God:

Exodus 34:6 …The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
2 Chronicles 6:41 …Let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.
Psalm 16:2 …Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
Psalm 21:3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness:
Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
Psalm 25:7 …According to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.
Psalm 27:13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalm 31:19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee;
Psalm 33:5 The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
Psalm 52:1 …The goodness of God endureth continually.
Psalm 107:8 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness
Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
Jeremiah 31:14 …And my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.
Zechariah 9:17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Romans 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.