The Fear of the Lord, Study 16

Deuteronomy 5:29

 

Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

 

Read the context:  Deuteronomy 5:1-33

What made the people afraid according to Deuteronomy 5:5?  How many times is this mentioned in verses 22-26?  How did they describe it in verse 25?  In that same verse, what do they say they’re afraid will happen to them?  But what do they say in verses 24 and 26 actually happened to them?  “We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he ____________________.” (vs. 24) 
“Who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and _______________?” (vs. 26)  Yet, they are afraid if it continues they will _______. 

What did their fear cause them to tell Moses? (vs. 27)  Their fear led them to distance themselves from God. 

What did they promise they would do at the end of verse 27?  But can we distance ourselves from God and maintain the fear of the Lord?  And if we don’t maintain the fear of the Lord, will we continue in obedience or drift from it?  What was the experience of the Israelites? 

What is God’s response to this in verse 28?  What does He mean?  What are they right about? 

Consider Nebuchadnezzar’s response to the 3, no, 4 men in the fiery furnace in Daniel 3:25-29.  In verse 25 where does Nebuchadnezzar acknowledge they are walking?  “In ________________________________.”  And what does he say next that is so astonishing to him?  “And they are __________________________.”  No one had ever seen a Living God!   And certainly not a God who not only could walk in the midst of fire Himself but could also enable His people to walk unharmed in the midst of fire.  This is fearsome.  This is our God. 

Hebrews 12:28-29 says:  “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.  For our God is a consuming fire.”  That will be a verse study for another day a long way down the road, but it is relevant to our verse for today.  We must realize, as the people of Israel did, that the God we serve is a consuming fire and this is fearful.  Greatly fearful.  Yet God asks us to walk with Him, to come up on the mountain in the midst of the fire and cloud.  If we draw near to Him, we will not be burned. 

In our verse for today, what is the longing of God’s heart for us?  Where does this need to lodge?  Not simply in our minds, but in our hearts; there’s a vast difference.  What will this lead to in our actions?  And what is the promise from God, the outcome?  Fear…obedience…blessing.  A winsome combination. 

I wrote a monologue about the 3 men in the fiery furnace in which the punch line is “Embrace the Fire.”  It only burns away our bondages.  Can you hear the heart of God in our verse for today pleading with you to do the same?  He doesn’t mean to harm you; only to free you.  Draw near in holy, reverential fear.  And keep on drawing near, no matter how hot it may get.  Our God is awesome – in the highest and loftiest and most fearful sense of that word; He is a consuming fire.

Spend some time in prayer.  Ask God to give you the courage to draw near.  And the desire.  On an ongoing basis.  Ask Him to put the fear of God in your heart and in the hearts of your loved ones.  Take time in His Presence to feel the fire.  Worship.

Add to your Fear of the Lord list what you have learned from this verse study.

For additional encouragement to meet God on the mountain, watch this youtube sermon by Francis Chan given to a conference of pastors:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXPKK9QNpJA