What Will Please God?

Psalm 147:10–11


Principle for Bible Reading

What kind of heart and faith pleases God? In this lab, John Piper looks at several texts to try and understand what it means for us to fear God. How can we be terrified of God and still find hope in him at the same time?

View the outline.


Outline

Introduction/Prayer (00:00–01:02)

The Good Benefits of Fearing God (01:02–05:22)

  1. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him and hope in him. (Psalm 147:11)
  2. But fear and hope do not ordinarily go together in our experience. How can this tension be resolved for the Christian?
  3. God befriends those who fear him, so fear and friendship go together with God. (Psalm 25:14)
  4. God delivers those who fear him, so fear and safety go together with God. (Psalm 34:7)
  5. God loves those who fear him, so fear and love go together with God. (Psalm 103:11)

A Terrifying Sanctuary (05:22–08:23)

  1. God must be our “dread.” (Isaiah 8:12–13)
  2. But if God is your dread, he becomes a sanctuary for you. (Isaiah 8:14)
  3. Dreading God means dreading running away from God. It means fearing the consequences of leaving him.

Follow the Fear of God (08:23–10:54)

  1. God takes great pleasure in those who fear him and hope in him. (Psalm 147:11)
  2. If they start looking away to other things, to other gods, they should fear God and run back to him. (Psalm 147:10)
  3. Fear of God will drive us to trust in God’s steadfast love and not ourselves. (Psalm 147:10)


Study Questions

  1. Based on Psalm 147:10–11, explain what pleases God in your own words.
  2. Read Psalm 25:14, 34:7, and 103:11. What do you learn about the fear of the Lord?
  3. Now read Isaiah 8:12–14. Now how would you describe the relationship between the fear of the Lord and hope in the Lord?
Piper: “Fear of God will drive us to hope in God’s steadfast love, and not ourselves.”