Deuteronomy 13:1-4 “If (when) there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt NOT hearken unto the words that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear Him and keep HIs commandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him.” (KJV)
Sound familiar? It should if you have been treading in these waters with me for even a little while.
Scripture uses the word fear over 300 times in reference to God. This fear (awe and reverence) is coupled with love, trust, obedience, honor, and the kind of fear a disobedient child has for a parent who loves them enough to discipline “for their own good and the good of society.” This is not a fear that leads to terror or despair. The Message tells us to “hold on to Him for dear life,” don’t go chasing every visionary or wonder working prophet. The LORD allows these imposters to test our loyalty to Him. Do we KNOW Him: recognize His voice, His work, His character? He wants to build our faith and give us opportunity to prove we really love Him to a watching world. He already knows!
Fear of the LORD (awe) is more positive than negative. However, we too must remember that belief alone is not enough. James 2:19 says: You believe that there is a God? Good! Even the demons believe this and they shudder (fear with terror and despair). Our belief in God should lead us into good works-treating others with kindness, respect, and honor. Interacting with people the way Jesus did and worship of God alone.
Much damage has been done to the cause of Christ by these charlatans and those weak ones who do not discern truth by searching the WORD for themselves. Yes, scripture study is HARD work: time consuming and you end up with more questions–I get this! But II Timothy 2:15 says: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I do not have all the answers! I keep seeking. This is what proves I love the LORD my God.
Deuteronomy 17:19 reads, “And it shall be with him (king of Israel), and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:”
Verses 14-20 of chapter 17 (Deuteronomy 17:14-20) are important to the understanding of this one verse on “fearing the LORD.” Obviously, Israel’s wisest king (Solomon) failed to follow these instructions because he was “filthy rich” as we say in the South, had too many wives. He did not end life well. Had he rewritten scripture for himself and read it daily as instructed by the LORD, he would have “bumped” into these directions from the LORD on more than one occasion!!!!
Scripture study helps us learn what the LORD requires (Micah 6:8 and Deuteronomy 10:12) and only then can we begin to follow God. I have been slapped cross-eyed more than once by reading Scripture for myself! I will be patting myself on the back about what a “good Christian girl I am” because I don’t do certain things only to have God’s word not so gently point out I am an abomination because I have in the past or still commit five of the seven “deadly” (meaning God hates them) sins: a proud look, a lying tongue, a heart that devises evil (ever wanted to hire a hitman?), feet running toward mischief, anger, false witness, gossip, complaining, jealousy, selfish ambition, envy……………..ok, I will stop. The finger I have pointing at others leaves three fingers pointing back at myself. Gotta get that beam out of my own eye. (Matthew 7:3-5, Luke 6:42)
Let’s memorize Micah 6:8! May this become our heart cry: our breath prayer for this study.
Each time we pick up God’s word it is our heavenly Father speaking to us! It is His love letter to me! Teaching me spiritual lessons. Reminding me how he loves me! Admonishing me! Giving me information so I can make wise choices. Encouraging me. Teaching me that He takes seriously how I treat His children. (Look at the list of abominations and see it is all about ways I treat others with disrespect, contempt, hostility, etc.). It is all given like an earthly father gives lessons to protect, to instruct, to lead and guide, to lay out expectations. And like our earthly fathers, at times, we can and do fail to do what is right.
Solomon found himself following after other gods because he failed to study God’s word for himself daily. God’s word gives us examples of those who chose to do as He instructed and those who chose to ignore His repeated directions. Solomon himself wrote in Proverbs 8:13, “the fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way and the froward mouth, do I hate”. The fear of the LORD is spelled out here by the LORD Himself! He says, “I hate a sassy mouth, pride, arrogancy, and evil ways. See Scripture really does explain Scripture. Which way will we choose to live? Who will we choose to follow?