Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
The fear of the LORD comes from knowing the true God as God and Saviour. The lost will be afraid of God one day, but they do not know the fear of the LORD. The fear of the LORD deals with that reverence and awe that the saints need to have of God. It is not a crippling fear like many people are living under for the past 2+ years. Manoah needed to learn the fear of the LORD. He thought they were going to die because they had seen God. Manoah’s wife had a better understanding of spiritual matters than Manoah did at that time. She rightly understood that God would not have sent His angel to speak with them if He was intent on killing them.
The word translated as “clean” here means “pure in a ceremonial or moral sense.” It has a different meaning than the word “pure” that we looked at yesterday. God is very careful in His use of words. He wants us to understand the intricacies of His words.
When a person lives according to the fear of the LORD, he or she will keep themselves clean in a ceremonial way as well as in a moral way. We have talked of the importance of moral purity many times. Job spoke of this:
Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
Job understood the importance of moral purity. This is not some new thing that man suddenly knew of. God taught this from the beginning. Notice as well that the fear of the LORD endures for ever. Things have never changed with God. We know that things have changed on this earth. Doctrines have been changed to reflect the depravity of man, rather than honouring the holiness of God. It is important to note that even if man changes God’s doctrines, that will not stand in the presence of the LORD. God will judge man according to His Word, not man’s manipulation of His Word.
The second part of our text speaks of the judgments of the LORD. Cain accused God of being unjust in His dealings with him. Cain brought an improper sacrifice to God. He then became jealous and angry with his brother. Abel did nothing wrong. He brought the offering that God required. Abel lived in the fear of the LORD. Cain could have done the same, but he chose not to. God talked to Cain about his heart and Cain ignored God’s warning. Cain then murdered his brother. When God judged him for that he accused God of being unjust. He claimed God’s judgment was more than he could bear.
Cain would have been wise to repent toward God and seek His forgiveness. He chose to dig in his heels and fight against God. He did not win.
The Bible speaks much of judgment. God was righteous in His judgment of Adam when he sinned. God had declared the right way to walk first and then held Adam to His truth. Adam discovered the hard way that God is right. God established right judgments for the nation of Israel. He showed them what right judgment looks like. He does not play favourites. He is just in all His judgments. The Bible tells us that the saved will meet the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ.
II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
All those who are saved will appear at this judgment. This judgment is not to determine if we will enter heaven. That is already determined because the saints are those who have trusted in God’s provision for forgiveness of sins. That provision is through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The judgment the saints will face is with regard to what the reward will be for each particular saint, or what the loss of reward will be. I Corinthians 3 gives us some detail on this judgment.
God knows how faithful each of His children have been. He will deal with each one in complete fairness.
The Bible also tells us that the lost will appear at the great white throne judgment.
Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Those that appear at this judgment will be there because they have rejected God’s way of salvation. Cain will be there as will many others. No one will be there that should not be there. This judgment will also not be to determine whether someone should go to heaven rather than be cast into the lake of fire. All those who are there will be there because they chose to reject God’s gift of eternal life. In Matthew 25 Jesus taught about the judgment that will take place at the beginning of the Millennium. He will gather all the nations together and He will separate the sheep from the goats. He will not misjudge anyone. The sheep will enter into the Millennium. The goats will enter into eternal punishment.
God knows each person. He does not need to ask us who we are and what we have done. He already knows that. He will not look to see how much money a person has or how good looking they are or if they can sing well or if they can speak well. None of that will matter. His judgment will come down to one factor. What each person did with the gift of eternal life that He offers.
David was directed to write about the heavens in the beginning of this Psalm. Then he was directed to write about the Word of God. He will write more about that yet. In today’s verse he was directed to write about our response to the Word of God.
Do I know the true God Who reveals Himself in the heavens? Do I accept His Word as truth and have I been saved according to what His Word says? Then, am I walking in accordance with His Word as His child?
You can ask yourself that as well. Are you living under the fear of the LORD? Do you appreciate His judgments? Are you walking according to His judgments?