Links Daily Devotional

Out of Reverence

“[This scroll of the law] is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left.” (Deuteronomy 17:19-20, NIV)

Every tournament has its knuckleheads. They hide in the gallery and shout absurdities just as the ball is launched from a player’s tee. This foolishness is exaggerated by the fact that no one else is doing any such thing at the time.

In golf, shouting is not always unacceptable. Hit a shot in someone’s unwary direction and you’d better be yelling at the top of your lungs: “Fore!”Witness an amazing bunker holeout during Sunday’s back nine and lift your voice with everyone else in the vicinity. Indeed, we might say that these outbursts are made in reverence—for the safety of another and the exaltation of a shot well-played at the height of competition. But let loose with “Mashed Potatoes!” when all a player has done is what every player does, and you’ve ignored the mores of the game altogether.

Some things are meant to be done out of reverence. And when they are, we might say they are done with a most powerful motivation.

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses renewed the law of God for the generation of Israelites that would move into the Promised Land. In the midst of this outlining, Moses gave the people God’s heart for these matters. Obedience, he would tell them, is not best done when it is done only for obedience’s sake. If it is, there’s almost no way to come out the other side without saying, “Look at the ways I am better than you” (reference the Pharisees in Jesus’ time).

So what did Moses offer instead? A recognition of who God is and what he had done for them.

To the future king, in our passage today, Moses said, “Know this law, that you may revere the LORD and follow the law.” He gave the same instruction to the people as a whole in chapter 31: hear the Word, fear the LORD, follow the law.

The functional order was vital then and it remains vital now. If we are to be rightly motivated in our righteousness, then we must revere God first. In any earthly arena, including golf, when we know and appreciate something well, we act according to its appropriate confines. The same is true in our relationship with God. Know him well. Appreciate all he has done. Serve him with gladness.

Jeff Hopper
June 19, 2014
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