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Summary: God finds pleasure in the company of certain people. Who are they?

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HOW TO PLEASE GOD

A. FEAR THE LORD &

B. HOPE IN THE LORD

Psalm 147:11

The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

It is an impressive thought that God should, not only be at peace with some people, but He even finds pleasure in their company! Who are these favoured people? They are the ones described in our text.

Let us look more closely at their description.

A. THEY FEAR THE LORD

The LORD delights in those who fear him

It is a fear conjoined with love and hope, and is therefore not a slavish dread, but rather filial reverence. [Easton’s Dictionary]

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.

1. THE PURITY OF THIS FEAR

Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring for ever. (clean AV)

‘Unmixed with alloys’. = undivided loyalties

The doctrine of truth is here described by its spiritual effect, viz., inward piety, or the fear of the Lord; this is clean in itself, and cleanses out the love of sin, sanctifying the heart in which it reigns (Spurgeon)

Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

John 17:17 Sanctify {Greek hagiazo (set apart for sacred use or make holy)} them by the truth; your word is truth.

2. THE PRIVILEGE OF THIS FEAR

Psalm 25:14 The LORD confides in those who fear him;

John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Ephesians 1:9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,

Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.

3. THE PROTECTION OF THIS FEAR

Psalm 60:4 But you have raised a banner for those who honour you [fear You]—a rallying point in the face of attack [NLT]

The Banner was a place of

1. Of unity. This people, who were lately divided and under several banners, are now gathered together and united under one banner,- the Lord‘s.

2. Of battle. They have been given an army and power to oppose the enemies.

3. Of triumph. We have not lost our banner, but gained theirs, and brought it away in triumph: [based on Spurgeon]

II Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him

For the eyes of the Lord go this way and that, through all the earth, letting it be seen that he is the strong support of those whose hearts are true to him [BBE]

4. THE PARTICIPATION OF THIS FEAR

a. ITS FUNCTION

Psalm 2:11 Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling [NLT]

let reverence and humility be mingled with service. [Spurgeon]

Heb 12:28 & 29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire.

b. ITS FELLOWSHIP

Malachi 3:16 those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honoured his name

Luke 24:15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;

1Jo 1:3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

Fellowship

koinwnia koinonia koy-nohn-ee’-ah; partnership, i.e. (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction:— (to) communicate(-ation), communion, (contri-)distribution, fellowship.

They fear, for they are sinners; they hope; for God is merciful.

They fear him, for he is great; they hope in him, for he is good.

Their fear sobers their hope; their hope brightens their fear:

God takes pleasure in them both in their trembling and in their rejoicing. [Spurgeon]

There is a beautiful relation between hope and fear. The two are linked in this verse. They are like the cork in a fisherman’s net, which keeps it from sinking, and the lead, which prevents it from floating. Hope without fear is in danger of being too cheerful; fear without hope would soon become despondent. George Seaton Bowes

B. THEY HOPE IN THE LORD

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