“Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him.” vss. 11-12
This psalm was composed for the coronation of a king in Judah, and these verses were addressed to the kings of other nations, a warning that they’d better not even think of messing with this new ruler. There’s a formulaic tone to the words, a kind of bravado that people have come to expect when a new sovereign begins to reign. It’s a time to rally the crowds and to remind constituents that this king has been chosen by the Lord, and that the Lord will have his back in every circumstance. We like to believe such things about our leaders, imagining that they’re divinely chosen and that God is on our side in every conflict, and that ultimately our side will always win. Such talk is common in every generation…and mostly it’s just talk! Its absurdity becomes obvious in events like World War I when both sides prayed to God for victory…and millions died as a result of purely human vanity and greed. It is true, however, that we should serve the Lord with fear and trembling, and not turn him into some sort of gentle giant. The Creator of the Universe is not to be mocked or presumed upon. There’s raw power in God…and our role is purely to worship…and humbly serve in God’s holy name.
Thought for the Day: When do I tremble in God’s presence?