Deuteronomy Chapter 6
By Pastor Josh Oestreich
Deuteronomy 6:2 says, "That you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged."
Three times in chapter 6, Moses uses the phrase "fear the LORD your God" (6:2, 13, 24– the beginning, middle, and end of the chapter). The fear of the LORD is at the heart of much of what we have discussed in our last couple meditations, and it is an integral part of our relationship with the Lord. For, to fear Him is to obey Him, and to obey Him is to love Him. In chapter 5, verse 29, we read that the LORD said: "Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would FEAR ME and always keep all My commandments..." Here, in 6:2, Moses says, "That you may FEAR the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments..." And in 6:13 Moses says, "You shall FEAR the LORD your God and serve Him..." Thus, fearing the LORD and keeping (obeying) His commands go hand-in-hand. To fear the LORD, in the Biblical sense, is to reverence and respect Him, to esteem Him and His Word. As His children and His people, we do not grovel in terror before Him, but we do have reverence and a filial respect for Him as our Father. However, with that, there is another aspect to the fear of the LORD to consider: the fear of hurting Him through disobedience and disrespect. As I have already said, He is a good Father and has only our best interest at heart—why would we want to betray that?
As we look at the fear of the LORD, we see that it is ultimately practical and not just a theoretical, intellectual assent. "You shall fear the LORD your God AND serve Him" (Deut. 6:13). Proverbs 8:13 says, "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil." Psalm 128:1 says, "Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways." When we fear the LORD, we fear Him above all else—above evil and above our own desire to walk in our own ways. As we walk in the fear of the LORD and in obedience, we are manifesting our love for Him. In John 14 Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (vs.15).
Finally, in Deuteronomy 6:24, Moses says that the fear of the LORD is for our good: "fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive..." At least three times we have this truth reaffirmed in Proverbs: "The fear of the LORD prolongs days" (10:27); "The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death" (14:27); and "The fear of the LORD leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction" (19:23). See again what great desire our Heavenly Father has to bestow His blessings upon our lives. He is telling us that walking in genuine reverence for Him will give us a quality of life that disobedience could never grant, a quality of life that can only be found in and through Him. As we submit to Him and His word, and manifest our filial reverence for Him, we experience the fruitfulness of the fear of the LORD. May we live everyday in the fear of the LORD our God, to His glory and for our good.
Grace and peace.