Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O Lord! Let the nations know that they are but men! Psalms 9:19-20 [ESV]
This passage uses a Hebrew word for ‘men’ that implies their weakness. Without God, we are nothing but dust and a breath. The psalmist asks God to demonstrate His power over the nations. They are not only hostile to Israel (or those whom He has saved); they also defy God Himself, so He must show them that they are mortal and that He is God.
I too need to heed this call to be ‘in fear’. Before I can ask the Lord to show Himself that He is indeed superior to my enemies, I must have this fear in me. I have no place to be asking God to reign down His judgement on those who have rejected Him, unless I first have the posture of dependence and lack of self-sufficiency to save myself…in whatever I do. In verse 11, the psalmist says, “Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!
Tell among the peoples his deeds!” It is not appropriate for me to on call judgement from God until I have a heart after His own, and am proclaiming all that He has done; not just in His word, but also in my own life.
As I look forward into this new year, all of my decision making needs to be preceded with this heart-condition, a reverent fear of God. My own actions and plans must be paved with a dependence on God’s word and upright standing where every day there is evidence to convict me of being a child of the King.