To serve, to fear, to obey, to listen, and to cling

deuteronomy_13-4-nasb

Revised and re-posted below is the Verse of the Day for October 9, 2016 taken from Deuteronomy 13:4 (NLT):

Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

This verse contains directives to the Children of Israel expressed in the form of five verbs:

To serve, to fear, to obey, to listen, and to cling: in a similar way these action words could be applied to our lives today as believers.

To serve:

Deuteronomy 6:13 (Amplified Bible) reiterates the same message that the people of God are to serve Him alone:

You shall fear [only] the Lord your God; and you shall serve Him [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect] and swear [oaths] by His name [alone].

When Jesus Christ was tempted of the Devil in the wilderness, the Savior’s response came from this very passage in Deuteronomy 6:13:

Matthew 4:10 (Amplified Bible)

Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

To fear:

Regarding the fear of the Lord, Job 28:28 (NLT) offers this reminder:

And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”

The Psalmist echoes a similar sentiment in Psalm 111:10 (NLT)

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

Amplified Bible also connects the fear of the Lord with obedience:

The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that leads to obedience and worship] is a fountain of life, So that one may avoid the snares of death.

To obey:

Regarding this verb, Deuteronomy 11:22 offers these words of wisdom:

“Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him.

To listen:

In addition, the people of God are to “listen to His voice:

Deuteronomy 13:18 tells us:

“The Lord your God will be merciful only if you listen to his voice and keep all his commands that I am giving you today, doing what pleases him.

The expression “listen to his voice” brings to mind the following poem which encourages believers to perfect listening as a highly developed art:

The Art of Listening

God has something to say to you,

God has something to say.

Listen, Listen, Pay close attention.

God has something to say.

Children’s Song

 

The Lord GOD has given me

The tongue of the learned

That I should know how to speak

A word in season to him who is weary.

He awakens me morning by morning,

He awakens my ear

To hear as the learned.

The Lord GOD has opened my ear;    

And I was not rebellious,

Nor did I turn away.

Isaiah 50:4-5

 

Listen, listen, children: hear with the inner ear.

Tune your ears to hear in the center of your heart.

I will whisper cherished secrets as you come near.

To listen intently and obey is an art,

Practiced and perfected day by day.

As you hide my Word in the center of your heart,

I perform and bring to pass every word I say.

In my unfolding Kingdom, you too have a part,

For to walk in love is the more excellent way.

Partake of my promises and consume my Word.

As precious as life-giving water, hold it dear

And do my will, proving all things that you have heard.

Listen intently and obey: Perfect this art.

Listen, listen, children: hear with the inner ear.

To cling:

The final verb means to stick to or to stick with, stay close, cleave, and keep close.  It has also been translated to follow closely, join to, overtake, and catch. As believers, all of our energy and efforts should be toward pursuing and adhering to the precepts of the Lord, our God.

Deuteronomy 10:20 provides another directive to fear and to cling:

You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone.

The Psalmist makes this statement:

Psalm 119:31 (NLT):

I cling to your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!

We conclude our discussion with a musical reference to the final verb:

“Cling to Christ” by Sovereign Grace Music

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: