Psalm 33:12-22 (NRSV)
Verse 12Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
Verse 13The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all humankind.
Verse 14From where he sits enthroned he watches all the inhabitants of the earth-
Verse 15he who fashions the hearts of them all, and observes all their deeds.
Verse 16A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
Verse 17The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.
Verse 18Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
Verse 19to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
Verse 20Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield.
Verse 21Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
Verse 22Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
“Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.”
When I was young and learning the catechism, I always puzzled at the phrase “we are to fear and love God.” Why would you be afraid of someone that loved you and that you loved in return? If God is telling us, “Do not be afraid,” why would we be commanded to fear God? As I grew older, I came to understand the command to fear in the commandments as the need to respect and trust God for everything in our lives. This is the essence of faith. This is the type of faith Abraham lived.
Psalm 33 reminds us that God as the creator of all watches over his creation. God watches over all the inhabitants of the earth. Like Abraham we find our hope in God’s steadfast love. God is our help and our shield. We can trust God to be with us, no matter what is happening in our lives.
God of Steadfast Love, help us to trust in your steadfast love as the foundation of our lives of faith and hope. Watch over us as we live in this uncertain world. In your holy name we pray. Amen.