The Fear of the Lord!
Scripture reading for January 26: Exodus 19-20
God carried the whole nation of Israel out of slavery in Egypt with a display of His power in the plagues. The Israelites were protected and experienced God’s deliverance as they walked out of Egypt, laden down with silver and gold and other valuables. God’s presence guided them in the pillar of fire and in the cloud. God provided miraculously for them again and again in sending the manna and quail and then providing water from the rock. These children understood the mercy of God, but did not fear Him! This holy fear is a foundation for wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7)
God led the children of Israel to Mt. Sinai where He gave instructions through Moses to the people. They were to refrain from sexual relations, wash their clothes, and consecrate themselves to prepare to hear God’s voice speaking to them. (Exodus 19:10-16) On the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud, and a loud trumpet blast. When the trumpet sounded, everyone in the camp trembled with fear! (Exodus 20:18-19) The people begged Moses to speak to them, but did not want God to speak for they feared they might die! Why would God bring these special people out of slavery to do this to them?
God’s stated purpose was to instill in them the “fear of God to keep them from sinning.” (Exodus 20:20) The ten commandments that Moses received revealed sin in the heart of man. They are the mirror for our soul showing our guilt of breaking His law. They cannot save us from the penalty but drive us to God for mercy through His Son, Jesus Christ.
As you read Exodus 20:1-17 today, ask the Lord to reveal his holiness to you and open your eyes to your need for holy fear. Look at each commandment and see how these commands help us to love God and love our neighbor. If you are breaking any of them, take time and confess with repentance. Thank God that Jesus Christ fully kept God’s law and that His righteousness is now ours by faith!
“Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” Exodus 20:20