In Deuteronomy we read of Moses coming down from the Mountain a second time carrying the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone. In Deuteronomy 10:12, we read: "And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (NKJV) 

     We learn both fear and love in our formative years, as we are growing up under the nurture and admonition of loving and caring parents. The love of two parents, a mother and a father, is the perfect environment for the developing years of young children. How well I remember the years I was helping my wife rear four lovely children. We were always complimented on how well behaved our children were in church. They did not fight and fuss and did not run around all over the sanctuary. They each learned as nursing babies that the sanctuary was a time and place of worship. 

     When asked for our secret for such well behaved children, our answer was always the same: "They know what the consequences will be when we get home." Read the words of Solomon: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights." Proverbs 3:11,12 (NKJV). 

     God loves us, and that love is behind the laws and commands He has set in place for us. One of the first things we learn when we begin to understand God is that He hates sin. John writes, ". . . God is love."  I John 4:8 (NKJV) Also, the writer of Hebrews reminds us, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:31 (NKJV) 

     Deliberate sin happens when fear of God is missing. Loving God is not enough. The Psalmist tell us: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Psalms 111:10 (NKJV) 

     "A healthy fear of the Lord is a strong motivator to walk in holiness. When we have revelation (life-changing understanding) of God's holiness, purity, and perfection, we stand in awe and amazement of Him. This reverence motivates us to walk in His ways and to follow His commandments." Rev. Jack W. Hayford. 

     God does not want us to be in continual terror of Him, though that may be where we start in our relationship with Him. Proper, mature fear of God means having a healthy reverence and respect for the most powerful Being in the universe and the laws He has set in place for our own benefit. We fear God and keep His commandments because He is love. What can we do but stand in awe of that and love Him?  

         Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.


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                                                                                                                              Updated JULY 20, 2014
 
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