We usually associate fear with the anticipation of something unpleasant or the expectation of our safety being threatened. We think of fear in terms of what we’re afraid of.
Scripture teaches about another kind of fear—the fear of the Lord.
Psalm 128 addresses the fear of the Lord in terms of the reverence and awe we have for God and his majesty. Martin Luther described this kind of fear as filial, meaning the kind of fearful respect a child has for his father. His obedience is not motivated out of fear of punishment, but fear of displeasing the father he loves so much. The child’s respect and love for his father produce in him the desire to obey in all things.
This is the fear of the Lord. And there is a reward for the God-fearing: “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways” (Ps. 128:1).
The 128th Psalm is one of the Psalms of Ascents, made up of Psalms 120-134. Each year, the Jews would travel to Jerusalem, the city on a hill, for religious festivals. As they made the upward journey, they sang these psalms to encourage one another. Psalm 128 encourages a specific audience—godly husbands and fathers who fear the Lord.
Charles Spurgeon writes, “It is not to be inferred that all blessed men are married and are fathers; but that this is the way in which the Lord favours godly people who are placed in domestic life.”
While the Bible teaches that everyone who fears the Lord invites his blessings into their lives, Psalm 128 is the application of that blessing specifically to husbands and fathers. Consider the blessings intended for such a man who fears the Lord