The Fear of the Lord, Study 15

Deuteronomy 4:9, 10


Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.  And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, “Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.”


Read the context:  Deuteronomy 4:1-40

Deuteronomy is Moses’ last speech to the people of Israel before he dies.  He is recounting their history from the time they left Egypt and reminding them of the wonders God has done for them.  For their own blessing and ongoing benefit, he is also urging them and pleading with them to be faithful to God.  What event is Moses reminding them of in this chapter?  (Read Exodus 19:1-20:21)

In this chapter, Deuteronomy 4, Moses tells the people several truths about God’s nature and character.  What do you learn about God in the following verses:  Deut. 4:6?  Deut. 4:7?  Deut. 4:12, 15, 16?  Deut. 4:24?  Deut. 4:25?  Deut. 4:28 (by contrast)?  Deut. 4:29?  Deut. 4:31?  Deut. 4:32?  Deut. 4:34?  Deut. 4:35?  Deut. 4:37?  Deut. 4:39?   Beside each characteristic, write whether it would cause you to fear or to want to draw near to God.  What is the primary characteristic of God that would cause you to fear?  When does God express this attribute?  Or, to put it another way, what specific action on our part is this characteristic directed toward or against (Deut. 4:15-23)? 

Go back and look at Exodus 20:20 – the final statement from Moses in that Mt. Horeb scene.  What was the purpose of the fear of the Lord according to that verse?  Interesting, isn’t it, that here in Deuteronomy 4 the fear-of-the-Lord attribute is directed against the breaking of the 1st 2 commandments.  The fear of the Lord is purposely intended to protect our hearts from sin.  And when the 1st 2 commands are disregarded, the door is open for the breaking of all the others.

In the verses for today, what are the 2 commands at the beginning of verse 9 and to whom are they directed?  I’m reminded of the instructions given on an airplane before take-off:  Put the oxygen mask on yourself before attempting to help others.  Solomon reminds us of this same thing in Proverbs 4:23.  In that verse, what does he tell us to do and why?  God is calling us, warning us, to give diligent attention to the state of our own heart and lives.  First things first.

In Deut. 4:9 there are 2 warnings, 2 things that are prone to happen within us if we don’t watch over our hearts with all diligence.  What are those 2 warnings (they begin with “lest…”)? 

Eyes…heart…memory.  We see or experience the wonders and care of God, and we believe Him with our hearts; but then life goes on and we forget, and faith starts to wane.  Read Psalm 78:5-8, 10-11, 40-42 and Psalm 106:12-15, 21.  What is the common thread in each of those passages? 

What is always the result of forgetting or not remembering? 

So Moses urges them not to forget.  For if we forget the things God has done for us, they will depart from our hearts and disobedience or sin is not far behind.  This is why Jesus told us to remember Him through communion:  "As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, do this in remembrance of Me."  We must regularly take time to remember the wonders God has done for us.  This is not for God’s benefit but for ours!  It is stabilizing and acts as reinforcement to our hearts, anchoring them to the truth.

According to verse 10, why did God present Himself the way He did that day on Mt. Horeb back in Exodus 19?  That they may learn to _____________.  For how long?  It was to make that deep of an impression.  It was to be utterly and completely life altering.

What command is given at the end of Deut. 4:9 and at the end of verse 10? 

Have you taken time to recount to your children (and grandchildren) the attributes of God, the wonders God has done for you, all that has been provided for you through Christ Jesus, the warnings He has given you, the ways He has kept you?  Take time to think through these things, write them down, pray for and plan opportunities to tell your children.  Be specific.

Add to your Fear of the Lord list anything you learned from these verses.

Pray for God to keep you in the fear of the Lord all the days of your life.  Pray for God to plant the fear of the Lord in your children’s hearts and to keep it fanned into flame all the days of their lives.  For our God is a consuming fire.  May their hearts be ablaze for Him.