Forgiveness Induces Fear?

One of my goals when I read the Bible is to slow myself down to soak in all I read and so I notice the “small” things. So I was flying through today’s reading (Psalm 129, 130, 131) when I forced myself to read it again, slower, and a bizarre verse popped out at me.

Did you notice Psalm 130:4, “But with you there is forgiveness, therefore you are feared.” Huh? It’s like, “What chu talkin’ about Willis?” Typically we fear people who are so demanding they won’t forgive, not those who are so merciful they do forgive. So what’s the deal with this verse?

Well, I’m not sure, but here’s my thought. A couple weeks ago I had a massive car accident that easily could have killed me, and got through it without a scratch. My escape from harm could have left me fearless of car accidents, but it didn’t. In fact, I’m now more fearful of car accidents. Much more. Because of the accident, I’m more fearful of what could happen, and also incredibly grateful for what actually happened to me.

Maybe it’s like that? Being forgiven by God doesn’t remove our fear of Him and of what the consequences are for sin, it may even increase our fear. But even more it leaves us incredibly grateful for the forgiveness we’ve received so we can escape those consequences…