The Word of God - Part 4
“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, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12,13).
"My covenant [on My part with Levi] was to give him life and peace, because [on his part] of the [reverent and worshipful] fear with which [the priests] would revere Me and stand in awe of My name” (Malachi 2:5 Amplified).
God requires us to fear Him as manifested by our walking in all of His ways, our loving Him with all of our being, our serving Him with all of our heart and soul, and our keeping all of His commandments. In return, God promises us life and peace and all that life entails. Our fulfillment of what God requires of us should be every Christian’s highest priority as we exist to please Him. If we spent half the time pursuing the fear of God that we spend pursuing prosperity and happiness and self fulfillment, we would already have all of the things we pursue plus some because everything we really need and desire are encompassed in the life and peace of God which come as result of our fearing Him.
The greatest lack in America today is the fear of the Lord, both within and without the church. As the Psalmist declares: “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes” (Psalm 36:1). This lack of the fear of the Lord is rooted in a lack of the word. As David proclaimed: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!” (Psalm 119:11). The Lord commanded us to abide in His word in order that the fear of God might be established in our hearts:
“Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, ‘Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children’” (Deuteronomy 4:10).
The fear of God that relates to Hell and destruction belongs only to the lost unbeliever. But the fear of the Lord which relates to reverence and awe and love belongs to us. All that the Lord requires of us as a result of our fearing Him can only come through His word. His reverent and worshipful fear is produced in us as we see the revelation of God in His word through the spiritual insight of the Holy Spirit. As Job discovered when confronted by the Lord:
“I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eye sees You. Therefore I loathe [my words] and abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5,6 Amplified).
We cannot walk in the ways of God except we abide in His word and learn what His ways are. We cannot love the Lord with all of our being except we abide in His word until our hearts are circumcised and He can pour His agape love into us by His Holy Spirit. We cannot serve the Lord with all of our heart and soul unless He makes known His will through His word. We cannot keep the commandments of the Lord except we know what His commandments are through His word. As the Psalmist declared: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Paul pretty much sums up the word for obedience in his letter to Timothy:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
The word of God was given by inspiration of God to enable us to fulfill all that He requires of us, making us complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work. Being complete and thoroughly equipped is based on being conformed to the image of Christ in righteousness and holiness. God’s word is endued with God’s power to bring us into His righteousness and obedience. The Psalmist put it this way:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11).
If there were no other scripture concerning the word of God, this one alone should be enough to make anyone with a little bit of wisdom to diligently desire His word above anything else. This is a good starting point for meditation on the importance of God’s word to every area of our life.
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways” (Psalm 119:1-3).
Thus begins the greatest teaching on the importance of the word of God in the entire Bible. You would do well to read and meditate on this great Psalm over the course of a month or so. It is packed with divine wisdom on being in the word and its benefits when obeyed. As this Psalm begins, all of the blessings of God are bound up in our obedience to His word. His word produces obedience which in turn produces His blessing. He tells us in this Psalm: the word is God’s counselor to us; it produces life in us; it gives us strength and encouragement; it produces liberty; it gives us comfort and consolation; it produces songs in our heart; it reveals God’s faithfulness and goodness; it gives us judgment and wisdom; it produces joy; it gives light and understanding; it provides direction and instruction; and on and on.
God’s word is the means to His power for life and godliness. The power of God is enfolded in the knowledge of Christ which is woven into the word of God. Through the revelation of the promises of Christ in the word of God we are delivered from the corruption of this world to become partakers of His divine nature of life and godliness. When we put off the old man of sin and put on the new man of Christ, we are enabled to walk in the fear of the Lord in righteousness and holiness thus fulfilling the requirements of God for life and peace. All of this takes place as we abide in the word of God, searching the scriptures daily for the promises of Christ. He has given us His word for obedience. It is up to each one of us to do something with it.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2).