FEAR & FIRE

Today's devotion in Deuteronomy 5. Moses remembers the loud voice that called out to the assembly. He recounts the fire, cloud, and thick darkness that enveloped the mountain. Yet, the response to the commandments themselves is set aside in order to remember the response to the glory of God. We read, "All of you approached me with your tribal leaders and elders when you heard the voice from the darkness and while the mountain was blazing with fire. You said, ‘Look, the Lord our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that God speaks with a person, yet he still lives.'" (Deuteronomy 5:23-24, CSB)

They see the fire and are filled with fear. Their next words speak of their fear of being consumed by the fire of a holy God. Out of this fear and reverence they made a request of Moses: be our mediator. They obviously wanted to hear from God, but could not bear the thought of being in His presence themselves because of the overwhelming fear of Him.

As Moses recollects his discussion with God on this matter, we receive a heartbreaking insight from the mouth of God. He says, "I have heard the words that these people have spoken to you. Everything they have said is right. If only they had such a heart to fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that they and their children will prosper forever." (Deuteronomy 5:28-29, CSB)

If only...even here as these people are filled with fear and reverence God foresees the coming reality of their complacent hearts. Their fire will go out because their fear will fade with familiarity.

I would be a complete liar if I said that I never had a problem with this. We can become so comfortable in the mercy of God that we neglect to remember His majesty. We can become so lulled into laxness by the cheap grace of our culture that we neglect to recognize His glory in the extravagant grace He offers.

Let us never forget to pray for a healthy fear of God and a heart that burns with a fire for Him.