Monday, June 10, 2019
One of the most basic questions asked by any job applicant to the potential employer is this: “What will I be required to do?” When I was in business years ago as a manager of retail stores, I was responsible for all the hiring and firing of employees. During the interview process for a new employee I would not volunteer a lot of information about the specific responsibilities of the job because I wanted to see if the applicant had the initiative to ask what they would be required to do. If the applicant was primarily concerned with a paycheck and not with responsibilities, they were not likely to be considered for the position. As an employer I wanted to know I was hiring a person who was ready to do what the manager expected.
Before he turned over the leadership of the nation of Israel to his successor, Moses wanted to know that the people understood and were ready to fulfill the responsibilities to which God had called them. I think the tenth chapter of Deuteronomy is incredibly important in understanding our position in Christ and what God requires of someone in that position. This week we will unpack verses 12-22 and discover the spiritual job description of a dedicated follower of God.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’S commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
Our first faith principle to unpack is found in the answer to this question – What does it mean to fear God?
First, it means to revere Him and to be in awe of Him. This is the primary meaning of the word based on its use in other parts of Scripture. For example, in Psalm 139:14 we read, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God was not scared to make me, but He made me in such a way that we are in awe of how complex we are. Psalm 111:9 says, holy and awesome is his name, with the word awesome being the same word for fear. These are just 2 examples of the over 250 times this word is used that way in the Old Testament. To fear God means to hold Him in the highest reverence and awe.
However, we tend to evaluate the awesomeness of God based on the human response to God’s activities. God is deemed awesome when His actions are seen as awesome and beneficial to us. Our awe and reverence of God is diminished when circumstances of life hurt us and those whom we love. This is where we fail to understand the true meaning of fearing God. God is God no matter what the circumstances of life. Yes, there are tragedies that take our hearts and crush them like dried rose petals, but God is still on the throne. He never changes, and His love never fails.
I remember the day I received news of the death of an 18-year old daughter of a church family due to a serious infection in the brain. This beautiful life taken so tragically caused questions to be raised in our minds. But let us never question the character of God. He remains faithful and true. He is abounding in love. His mercy and His grace extend to all generations. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome…Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him… He is your praise; he is your God. (Deut. 10:17, 20, 21)
Stand in awe of Him!