The Fear of the Lord, Study 19

Deuteronomy 6:24

 

And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day.

 

Read the context:  Deuteronomy 6:20-25

In the context paragraph, the verse for today is something we are to pass on to others, to tell someone else.  Whom are we to tell?  What is the setting or situation in which we are to tell this (vs. 20)?  Why would a child ask this? 

Children have natural curiosity and they are keener observers than we think they are.  As we have seen from previous verses, and particularly from Deuteronomy 6:13, the Israelites were to be different from the peoples around them.  They had a distinctly different God, only one God instead of many gods, and a distinctly different code of ethics.  This made them look, act, and be different. 

Read Leviticus 18:2-5.  What two people groups did God warn them not to be like (verse 3)?  Why?  What are the repeated words in verses 2, 4, and 5?  That was why!  They had a different God and He was Lord; they “marched to a different drum.”

Notice in Leviticus 18:3, 4 that these are things we are to walk in; they are the daily course of our lives.  We are not to walk/live like the world, like the people who do not know God nor honor Him as the Lord of their lives.  How are we to walk/live according to Leviticus 18:4-5?  Notice the repetition of the word My.  We must be different because we have a different Master.  We will be different if we take the Lordship of God over our lives seriously.  We must learn His statutes, His judgments, His ways; and we must live them so that our children will ask, “Why are we different?  What has God commanded you and why?” 

Read also II Corinthians 6:11-7:1.  Write out the commands in verse 17.  According to verse 16 why are we told to come out and to be separate?  This is quite a mind-blowing statement!  The physical dwelling place of God has changed.  First it was the moveable tabernacle in the wilderness, a beautiful structure overlaid with gold and hung with ornate tapestries of blue, scarlet, purple, white, and gold threads woven into  heavenly scenes depicting angelic beings.  Then it became the fixed stone Temple that Solomon built, also overlaid inside with gold, a lavish monument to the Glory of God.  When that Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, other Temples followed, rebuilt by the people in Haggai’s day and again in Herod’s day.  When Christ came, He made the stunning statement that He Himself was the Temple, though at the time the people didn’t understand what He meant (John 2:19, 21). 

And now Paul is saying that we are the Temple.  The dwelling place of God is no longer outside of ourselves, somewhere we have to go, a place we visit.  We, our physical bodies, are the Temple; the dwelling place of God is within us.  Stop and reflect on that for a few minutes.  Breathe deeply of this truth; mentally look within.  Where did Jesus say the Kingdom of God was in Luke 17:21?  This is, I believe, what Jesus meant when He talked with Nicodemus in John 3:3-8.  What does He liken it to in John 3:3 and 8? 

II Corinthians 7:1 says, “Therefore, having these promises…”  List the promises spoken of in II Corinthians 6:16-18.  If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord and by faith laid hold of the New Covenant promises of God though Christ, then God Himself dwells within you; you have been born from above, by the Spirit; you are a child of God (John 1:12-13) and He is your Father.  To write or say that God dwells inside of me sounds outrageous, pretentious, even crazy – like something out of the New Age movement or a sci-fi novel.  But this is the essence of the Gospel!  It is what Christ came to accomplish. 

In Deuteronomy 6:21 what is the first thing that they were to tell their children?   This is what we also were before Christ.  Look up the following verses and write down the contrasts of what we once were and what we are now in Christ:  Romans 6:17-22, I Corinthians 6:9-11, and Ephesians 5:8. 

And just as God “showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt,” so He displayed the greatness of His power to us against the powers of sin, evil, and darkness that held us fast:  Colossians 2:13-15.

What did God do for them (Deut. 6:21-23)?  Notice in verse 23 that God “brought them out” that He might “bring them in.”  This is exactly what He has done for us as well.   Note what God has brought us out of and what He has brought us into according to Colossians 1:13 and I Peter 2:9-10.

Having delivered them from slavery and brought them into the Promised Land, God gave them a new lifestyle, commands they were to carefully observe; and He instructed them to fear the Lord their God.  We, too, are to have a different lifestyle, a different focus, a new love.  According to II Corinthians 7:1, what are we to cleanse ourselves from?  And what are we to replace it with?  Paul finishes the verse with “in the fear of the Lord.”  Interesting, isn’t it?  From Old Testament to New Testament it is the same:  obedience, holiness, walking in a new, godly lifestyle flows out of the fear of the Lord. 

In I John 2:15-17 what are we not to love and what are we to love?  What does the world consist of (vs. 16)?  And where is that headed (vs. 17)?  How does loving the Father affect our actions (vs 17)?  Where does that lead?  Notice from verse 15 that the 2 loves are mutually exclusive:  remember that God is a jealous God (Deut. 6:15).  Jesus Himself said you will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24).

What 3 reasons are given in Deuteronomy 6:24-25 that explain why God has commanded us to observe His statutes and to fear Him?  The purpose behind the fear of God is always for our good, always in our best interest, never to harm us or destroy us.  Look again at Romans 6:21-23.  The end of slavery to sin is ___________, but the end of obedience to God or righteousness is _____________ ________.

Deuteronomy 6:25 says that God’s law brings righteousness to those who obey it.  But Romans, and the experience of our own lives, teaches us that we have failed so miserably at obedience to God’s law that no one is righteous (Rom. 3:9-20).  However, to those of us who place our faith in the full obedience of Christ, His righteousness is imputed to us (Rom. 3:21-26, 4:5-6); the righteousness of Christ is a grace gift from God to all who believe in Jesus Christ (Rom. 4:23-25, 5:15-21).  Through Christ we have received something better than Adam and Eve had before the Fall, the 1st sin.  Justification is more than “just as if I’d never sinned;” it is also “just as if I’d fulfilled the whole law of God.”  For this is exactly what Christ has done for us. Christ takes us beyond innocence and clothes us in the perfect righteousness of God! 

Oh, may our hearts bow before Him in awe, wonder, and gratitude.  May we walk in the fear of the Lord, and the wonder of His Presence with us, cleansing ourselves from any taint of the world, and living for Him with a whole heart.  Spend some time in worship, thanksgiving, confession, and earnest supplication for a life that is truly and fully different.

If there are new things you have learned about the fear of the Lord from this lesson, add those things to your list.