If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
Psalm 130:3–4, ESV
The psalmist highlights one of the greatest difficulties that we face in modern society when we think about God. Much of the modern image of God portrays God as Buddy Jesus or a loving grandfather figure. We know and believe that God is love. This is a true enough understanding, but it requires us to understand love. If we utilize pop culture to define love, we find love to be a pretty shallow emotion. In our hearts and minds, we know this not to be true, yet, we still like to act as if love means that we just always need to be nice to one another. One of the worst taglines that has taken over the modern understanding of love is, “Love means never having to say you are sorry.” It has been twisted to mean that to love someone is to accept them and approve of everything that they see as being them, even if what they believe is wrong-minded and totally false. We know that if God held our sins against us, there would be no hope for any of us. The reason we are to fear God even though we know His love is that we are called to seek after His mercy and grace constantly. We fear doing more to harm the relationship that has been given to us through Jesus Christ. Not because it will ensure our salvation any more, but because it will cause us to pause and think about how we are living our lives in a reflection of the Father in Heaven who has brought us redemption. It is living in the realization of the level of forgiveness we have received in Christ Jesus and this is what we walk within.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.