Summary: Three things Deuteronomy instructs about fear: Don’t fear men, I will put the fear of you on your enemies, and Fear God and keep his covenant.
Last week we talked about how these books of Law have a lot to say about anger. It speaks of the anger of just about every character. We noticed two sources of anger: the evil anger of Pharaoh, Israel, Aaron and Miriam, Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and the righteous anger of the Lord and sometimes Moses. We focused on Moses’ angry act for which God punished him by refusing to let him enter the promised land. It happened near the end of the wilderness wandering when he in unbelief and rebellion to God’s command Moses surprisingly didn’t respect the holiness of God before the people, and struck the rock God told him so speak to. Jessie Bankhead gave me some very interesting help from the Hebrew on that passage. It looks like Moses intentionally rejected God’s command in his anger and almost seems to have hoped that God would not help the people by providing water from the rock. It was a costly rash move that Moses regretted. Anger is dangerous.
This week we will look at another emotionally charged word that occurs all over the place in these same books and that is: Fear.
For our lesson, I’d like to stick with what Deuteronomy says about Fear. Since this is the book in our reading schedule this past week.
Are you staying with it? I hope so! This is a tremendous opportunity for the whole church to do together and something you can share with each other at home all year! We are looking for Jesus as we read the entire Bible in a chronological order. If you get behind, just make a note of what you missed and pick up where we are. You will be blessed for the effort! Don’t give up! Remember that this is God’s inspired message for his people! God sacrificed his only begotten Son for you and me! Surely you can give up enough time to read the Bible. It takes less than 30 minutes a day! Don’t let the devil lie to your heart and make you believe you’ve got better things to do! Ok… enough said.
To introduce Fear in Deuteronomy turn first to chapter 5:29. This records what God said right after God spoke the 10 commandments to Israel and they were scared to death! They begged Moses that God not speak to them again, but that Moses would go and receive instructions from God and tell them and they swore to keep all that God commanded them through Moses. God heard them and said these words to Moses: 5:29 ’Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would always fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!
God chose Israel and loved Israel. He wanted them to love him and walk with him as his people and he as their God. Listen to 6:5, now look at 13 "You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name.
14 "You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you
15 ’(for the LORD your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth.
16 "You shall not tempt the LORD your God as you tempted Him in Massah.
17 "You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you.
See also 10:12 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
13 and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?
14 "Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.
15 "Yet on your fathers did the LORD set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day.
16 "Circumcise then your heart, and stiffen your neck no more.
17 "For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe.
18 "He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.
19 "So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.