‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise’ (Psalm 111:10).
One of the reasons that I can’t give up my paper Bible in favour of a digital version is that it contains about 25 years’ worth of markings I want to remember. For many years of attendance at an interdenominational bible study, colouring key verses and words kept me focused, awake and listening. In my own quiet times with God, moments of clarity, conviction or comfort have been shaded as well. More has been added on my yearly re-treat where I am fortunate to spend several days in silence alone with God, gathering ‘food’ for the year ahead. Those wafer-thin pages most versions use can look a bit drab after many years of use, but the bursts of colour I see now remind me of how God has continually spoken into my life through his word.
What can we see in today’s Psalm that might be worth ruminating on, turning over in our minds and taking into our hearts? What strikes me straight away is the focus on the character of our heavenly Father. In only 10 verses there is an overflow of descriptive words which, if you are the colouring sort, would soon culminate in a riot of colour. Who is this God we follow? He is great, glorious, majestic, righteous, full of wonders, gracious, compassionate, provider, faithful, just, trustworthy, steadfast, upright, redeemer, holy and awesome.
It’s interesting then that this Psalm finishes with a verse about fearing God. Sometimes we can view this in a negative sense and feel a bit overwhelmed by who we aren’t in the light of who he is. We can often be overwhelmed by our fears. What if, today, we focused on being overwhelmed in a positive sense by all his goodness to us, as evidenced by this descriptive list? How might you carry yourself knowing that this is the God you have walking closely and intimately with you?
PS If you’d rather keep your bible pristine and unmarked because that works for you, then that’s just fine with me!
Sometimes I am overcome by my thoughts, even thoughts about you. Help me to focus today on the fact that you, the God of the universe, choose to come close to me. Help me accept your invitation and live today as a dearly loved child with an incredible God on my side.