7. Teaching the Fear of the Lord Psalm 34:11-16

 Text: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6.

          “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns and Spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”
                                                                                                       Colossians 3:16-17.

Good morning, God-fearing  Christian Teacher!  What a wonderful, God-given privilege we have to be entrusted with teaching our children the fear of the Lord; how to know the Lord God; how to receive Christ Jesus as Saviour; how to live lives that will please Him and be assured of His constant Presence and His peace.  Such a blessing, to be entrusted with the Spiritual welfare of our children.  Hallelujah!

“Come ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” (Psalm 34:11)

Verse 11.  “Come ye children.  When God had created the Heavens and the earth, the first thing He did was to adorn the world with light and separate it from the darkness.  Happy is that child on whom the light of saving knowledge begins to dawn early.  God, in the law, required the firstborn, and the first-fruits, so He doth still our first days, to be offered to Him.”  (Nathanael Hardy 1618-1670)

Teaching our children to grow in the fear and admonition of the Living Lord God Jehovah is the finest act a Christian parent can undertake.  Our children are the future Church, and they need to know true Christian belief from false religious error.

“David, in this latter part of the Psalm, undertakes to teach children; though a man of war and anointed to be king, he did not think it below him: though now he had his head so full of cares, and his hands of business, yet he could find heart and time to give good counsel to young people from his own experience.”  (Matthew Henry 1662-1714)

Children and young adults today, in this increasingly apostate, secular, humanist, 21st Century, just will not easily sit still for a moment and really listen to wise Spiritual instruction.  The advent of the internet and social media interaction seems to give them the false illusion that they know more than their parents/elders, and so often despise our sincere instruction on vital Spiritual matters. 

To really learn, one must first learn to listen.  “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Matthew Henry teaches us what God expects from ‘His people’:
"Observe 1. What He expects from them, ‘Hearken unto Me, leave your play, lay by your toys, and hear what I have to say to you; not only give Me the hearing, but observe and obey Me’.

“Observe 2.  What He undertakes to teach them, ‘The fear of the Lord’, inclusive of all the duties of religion.” (Matthew Henry 1662-1714)  (Treasury of David, page 167)

“David was a famous musician, a statesman, a soldier, but he doth not say to his children, ‘I will teach you to play upon the harp, or to handle the sword or spear, or draw the bow,’ or ‘I will teach you the maxims of state policy,’, but ‘I will teach you the fear of the Lord’, which is better than all arts and sciences, better than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.  This is it which we should be solicitous both to learn ourselves and teach our children.” (Matthew Henry 1662-1714)  (Treasury of David, page 167)

David, and in later history Matthew Henry, both knew how utterly vital it is to have our children instructed in the fear of the Living Lord God Jehovah.  Each knew deep in their hearts that true wisdom is found only in such a godly fear and reverence.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”  (Proverbs 1:7-9)

Fearing God, means to reverence Him, and to bow down before Him in sincere reverent worship and adoration.  It has nothing to do with dread – unless one is coming before our Holy Lord God with hidden sin in one’s heart.  To fear the Living Lord God is to fear nothing else – knowing that He is our Lord Protector.

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: but verily (truly) God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer.  Blessed (blessed with blessings) be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.” 
(Psalm 66:18-20)

Verses 12 to 16 of Psalm 34 break down into easy to understand concepts what it means to ‘fear the Lord’, and to fellowship with Him in obedience of His truth.

Verse 14.”Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  We must not merely depart from evil and sin; we must also do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

True good is done when we seek to do the will of the Lord God as revealed to us in His written Word, the Bible (KJV).  When we seek to do God’s good will, we are blessed with his peace and assured of His constant fellowship.  Who or what can harm us if we are walking in the close company of the Living Lord God Himself?

Thought:  Let us live in God’s light and teach our children to do likewise.  Amen.

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