The sacrifice of thanksgiving. This is what the psalmist offers the Lord in response to all that the Lord has done. To worship the Lord does require some sacrifice! Something of ourselves must be brought to the temple and offered before the Lord. This makes our worship meaningful and personal. Sacrifice doesn’t always mean something painful or difficult. Perhaps we are not used to thinking of thanksgiving as sacrifice. Often we sacrifice a great deal for the ones we love but do not see it as sacrifice but a joy! We spent our time, talents and treasures freely on our family and friends. This is a sacrifice but a joyful one! This week as we ponder the gift of Easter I wonder what sacrifice you might bring to the Lord? How might you offer something of yourself to the Lord as a response to all that He has done for you?
11 What shall I give unto the Lord *
for all the benefits that he has done unto me?
12 I will lift up the cup of salvation *
and call upon the Name of the Lord.
13 I will pay my vows unto the Lord in the presence of all his people; *
dear in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
14 O Lord, I am your servant; *
I am your servant, and the child of your handmaid; you have broken my bonds asunder.
15 I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and will call upon the Name of the Lord.
16 I will pay my vows unto the Lord in the sight of all his people, *
in the courts of the Lord’s house, even in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!
What does it mean to fear the Lord?
God is to be feared. This doesn’t mean that we run away in terror from the Lord! God is not a character in a horror film. Fear is an appropriate response to God’s almighty power. Fear used appropriately gives us a healthy respect for the Lord. As I teach my children to use power tools to cut and shape wood I want them to know the great power these tools have. A bit of fear keeps them focused, disciplined and safe!
The Psalmist says that we start to have wisdom when we fear the Lord! It is God's power that creates and sustains us. His power is the power of life. We are completely beholden to God for all that we have. Understanding God’s power over us should create some fear. We have no control or ability to sustain ourselves. This fear causes us to turn our attention to the Lord. He becomes the focus of our life and all other cares and worries become distractions. This is truly the beginning of wisdom.
What fears do you have in life? Are those fears greater than God? Give these fears over to the Lord trusting in His power and begin a journey of wisdom!