“This is the command – the statues and ordinances – the LORD your God has instructed me to teach you, so that you may follow them in the land you are about to enter and possess. Do this so that you may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life by keeping all His statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may have a long life. Listen, Israel, and be careful to follow them, so that you may prosper and multiply greatly, because the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you a land flowing with milk and honey.” –Deut. 6:1-3
In the passage above, Moses is reminding the Israelites how they should live once they walk into the Promised Land. As they had previously wandered in the wilderness for forty years due to their lack of a fear of God, he is warning them that in order to obtain genuine prosperity in their new home they must maintain a fear of God.
While many shy away today from the concept of fearing God, it is a repeated biblical instruction.
Jesus’ ministry of grace did not shy away from the fact that we “don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).
Many of you know what it is to have a healthy fear of a parent. They love you regardless and would do anything for you but yet, be careful if you disobey. That’s a healthy fear.
Obviously, there is an unhealthy fear of parents.
There is also a blatant lack of respect of parents.
But there is something unique and beautiful about a child having a healthy fear of a parent.
It’s also something unique and beautiful for us to have a healthy fear of God.
As parents, we are called to instill a fear of God into our children similar to a healthy fear of a parent. It’s not anxious terror, but it is reverential respect. It is affirming that both God and you will do anything for your children when they are in need, but each will also do anything needed to correct disobedience in their lives.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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