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“Blessed is every one that feareth The LORD; that walketh in His ways” (Ps. 128:1).

INTRODUCTION: A little girl was walking with her daddy at night. She looked up at her father and said, “Daddy, take my hand. I can only take a piece of yours, but you can take all of mine.”

Sir Leonard Wood, was invited to dinner by the King of France, but did not reply to the invitation. The King was surprised to meet him in the hall and said, “Why, Sir Leonard, I did not expect you! How is it you are here? Sir Leonard’s response was, “Invited? Yes!” The King’s rejoinder, “But you did not reply!” Sir Leonard Wood responded. “A king’s invitation is never to be answered, but to be obeyed!”

And so it is with The Almighty God! His invitation is to be obeyed! We pray for blessing! We seek God’s blessing! But we seem to miss it or it eludes us. Why? Is it because of the lost art of travel? Do we really know how to obtain God’s blessing? The meaning of blessed is ‘joyful because of all the beneficent gifts from The God.’ The Psalmist knew the secret! He recorded it in Psalm 128:1.

A. The REQUIREMENTS (Ps. 128:1) WHAT IS INVOLVED? (Deuteronomy 10:12; Micah 6:8)

“And now, Israel, what doth The LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear The LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve The LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deut. 10:12).

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth The LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8).

1. “Fear(eth) The LORD.” The Hebrew word translated fear is yârê’(yaw-raý) meaning ‘to revere’. It is in the linear present tense. This is indicated in English by the suffix ‘eth.’ It indicates that the action is continuous without interruption and without ceasing. The Septuagint (translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek) used the word φοβούμενοι (phoboúmenoi) for ‘fear,’ which means “the ones reverentially fearing habitually or continually”; it also means “to dread to displease or to disobey” Jehovah, Who redeems. This verb occurs here in the reflexive middle voice, which calls for the subject participating in the results, action in behalf of oneself. Therefore the translation would best read, “Blessed are all the ones who of themselves continually fear The LORD.”

One day, while visiting a home of recent visitors to the local church of which I was pastoring, a three year old little girl wanted the attention of her mother. So she backed up to the phonograph on the floor nearby, intending to sit upon it. The mother looked at her with a dark look and reached under the chair upon which she was seated and picked up a switch. She lifted it and showed it to her daughter. Immediately the little girl fled into her mother’s arms. She feared her mother in the way Scripture illustrates fear. Although she desperately wanted her mother’s attention, she feared to cause her to punish her action, so she immediately stopped and fled to her mother’s arms where she was embraced and the use of the switch was prevented. The God wants us to persistently dread to displease or to disobey Him out of reverential fear and awe.

2. Walk(eth) in His ways (Deut. 8:5,6; Col. 2:6; 1 Jn. 1:7).

“Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so The LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of The LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to fear Him” (Deut. 8:5,6).

“Therefore as you& received The Christ, Jesus The Lord, persistently walk in Him!”(Col. 2:6 APT).

“But if (and it may be) we continually walk in the sphere of the light, as He Himself is in the sphere of the light, we keep on having fellowship [in company]with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ The Son of His keeps on cleansing us [away]from all sin”(1 Jn. 1:7 APT).

a. Walk - The Hebrew word translated ‘walketh’ is hâlak (haw-laḱ) meaning ‘continually travel, persistently go one’s way up, persistently journey.’ It also is in the linear present tense and reflexive middle voice. The Septuagint used the Greek word πορευόμενοι (poreuόmenoi) - ‘ones proceeding on their journey, in any way or road, or in the course of life;’ Thus “persistently journey.” In The New Testament it is used to indicate becoming a persistent follower. It indicates habitual, persistent, or continual action for or of oneself.

b. The root meaning of the preposition ’εν translated ‘in’ is ‘within.’ Here it is connected with ‘the ways’, which is in the locative of sphere case. Thus it carries the meaning of ‘within the limits of’and confines the path that is trodden. My memory goes back to the early years of studying the Koiné Greek Language. Our professor stressed the importance of the prepositions, emphasizing their root meanings and their relation to the cases of the nouns. Thus a precise translation considering the Hebrew and the Septuagint Greek is “Blessed are all the ones who of themselves continually fear The LORD, the ones of themselves persistently walking within the sphere of the limits of the ways of His.” (Ps. 128:1 APT).

c. His ways - The Hebrew word translated ways is derek (deh́-rek), which literally means ‘a trodden road.’ Figuratively it means ‘a course of life.’ Since it is locative, it is the where case, the case of personal interest. The traveled ways of The LORD. ‘The LORD’ specifies the source of the ways. The Septuagint used the Greek word ‘oδôις (hodόis), which refers to the course of a journey.

Our course of life must be according to God’s will, persistently within the limits of His ways and not according to our feelings. Hence walking persistently within the sphere of the limits of The God’s ways must affect our thinking, feeling, and deciding.

d. There is a problem. Romans 11:33 appears to contradict the concept in The Old Testament of being able to discern The God’s ways. However careful examination of the meanings of ‘the ways of God’ clarifies the problem and eliminates contradiction. Here (Rom. 11:33) the ‘ways’ refer to The God’s methods of proceeding. The future ways of God are ‘past finding out’- that is they are untraceable. They cannot be tracked out. His ways produce a track which cannot be explored. It is inscrutable, incomprehensible. No one! Neither human or angelic being can go ahead to explore The God’s ways or His proceedings. We do not and cannot know how The God will work or proceed! But we can learn the ways in which He has acted in the past and how He acts and reacts to obedience, disobedience, sin, rebellion, or submission and compliance with His will and walk within the limits of His ways. And by doing this, we will maintain relationship with Him through our thinking, feeling, and deciding properly.

B. The RESULTS (REASONS) OF BLESSINGS. WHY? fear and walk in The LORD’S Ways!

    1. To Be Truly Happy - blessed, enjoying God’s goodness (Ps. 128).

    2. To Enjoy Long Life Happily (vs. 5,6; Deut. 5:33; 1 Kings 3:14).

    3. To Be Fruitful (vs. 3,6; Deut. 30:15,16; Jn. 15:16).

    4. To Be Rewarded (Josh. 22:4,5; 2 Sam. 22:21,22) - rest.

5. To Be Identified as God’s Own People (possession) (Deut. 26:17,18; 28:9,10; Tit. 2:13,14; 1 Pet. 2:8,9).

C. REACTIONS to the Requirements. HOW? Continually fear & walk in God’s Ways!

    1. How can I?

         a. God’s ways are so superior (Isa. 55:7-9);

b. We are so sluggish, slow, self-reliant (Jer. 7: 23,24 cf. Acts 14:16).

    2. But God’s grace is so sufficient (Eph. 2:8,9; 2 Cor. 12:9; Heb. 12:28);

Therefore a choice is yours! You can throw up hands in despair, give up, and forget it or lean heavily upon God’s grace, cling to The LORD, and depend upon The Holy Spirit to enable you to continually fear and persistently walk in the sphere of the limits of The God’s Ways!

D. RECIPE for Blessing for HOW I can continually fear and walk within the sphere of the limits of The God’s Ways?

    1. Take a heart full of repentance and committed trust;

    2. Add a daily portion of God’s Word studied in the light of God’s ways;

    3. Mix with a heart full of obedience in godly fear;

4. Stir with zeal in confession of revealed sin when it occurs or is revealed by The Holy Spirit;

    5. Let it set in a warm heart of love for Christ;

6. When it is raised to overflowing, carry it on a daily walk with Christ in light, seeking to know The God’s ways;

     7. Also share some of Christ’s love with friends along the way.

CONCLUSION: How will you center your thoughts and ways of thinking? How will you deal with and control your feelings? How will you determine your desired result from your walk thru life? What procedure will you utilize in your decision making?

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Last modified: September 2, 2006