Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.
It seems like everything in the kingdom of God is backwards. You know; the first will be last, the last will be first, you have to lose your life to find it, it is by giving that we receive. It just doesn’t make sense to the human intellect. Take today’s verse for example, ‘Rejoice with trembling’, really? Fear and joy seem to be opposites on the range of human emotion, but that’s what the Bible says, ‘Rejoice with trembling’. The truth is this, this verse can never make sense until…. Until you experience the powerful presence of the Lord for yourself, then you will understand. When the Lord reveals Himself in His manifested glory those are the two simultaneous responses. The joy from being in the presence of the happiest of all beings and fear because of His awesome greatness. There is simply no one or anything like Him. Here are some thoughts from Martin Luther on today’s verse.
“Everything we do is corrupt, just as all of creation is spoiled. So we shouldn’t become overconfident. We need to be afraid of God’s judgment. But what Christ does for us is holy and perfect, and we should cling to his mercy. So we should fear God in a way that doesn’t entirely exclude joy. It should be a genuine joy—a joy that can’t be kept bottled up in our hearts. When we truly believe that we have been reconciled to God because of Christ, we will have a smile on our face, a twinkle in our eyes, and a song of praise on our lips. The Holy Spirit tells us to serve our heavenly King with inward and outward joy, combined with reverence. If we don’t, we’ll become overconfident. We’ll start acting like animals and sink into lustful human pleasures. If we make sure we don’t become overconfident, then God won’t be offended by our happiness. In fact, he’s offended by sadness and demands joy. That’s why people who were in mourning were not allowed to bring God sacrifices, and why the offerings in Malachi were unacceptable to God (Malachi 2:13).”
I guess I always knew it would be terrifying to experience the greatness of God, it was the joy that caught me by surprise. If you really think about it that had to be true. God created joy, He has to be the most joyful of all beings. If you get close to Him get ready to be surprised by life changing joy.