Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be feared.”
It seems at first that David should have said that since there is forgiveness with God, there is no reason to fear Him. That is certainly how many people seem to understand God’s forgiveness. But David knew better. He knew that forgiveness was only with God and that without God’s forgiveness, we have no hope. Therefore, we should fear God and seek His favor.
Hosea (3:5) wrote an equally unexpected verse:
Afterwards, the children of Israel will return and seek Jehovah their God and David their king. And they will be in awe of Jehovah and his goodness in the latter days.
As with the verse above from David, at first it seems that because God is good, there would be no need to fear Him. But Hosea knew what David knew; namely, that God’s goodness cannot be presumed upon and that it might be removed from someone if that person persists in sin. The Spirit of Christ once prayed through the Psalmist that God would “be good to them who are good.” This prayer will be answered forever on the Day of Judgment, when those who have been good will be raised up to eternal life and peace. On the other hand, as Hosea knew, in the Final Judgment, those who have done evil will be cast into “outer darkness”, far from God’s goodness forever. We fear God and His goodness because to be without His goodness is eternal death.
God is good, but He has never forgiven anyone who refused His call to repent. And He has promised to forever be good only to those who follow in the footsteps of His dear Son, Jesus. That is why David and Hosea feared God and His goodness. They wanted His forgiveness and His goodness to continue with them forever.