Read: Deuteronomy 10:11-13
What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul? (Deuteronomy 10:12)
An Early Vision Of High Religion
Our scripture foreshadows Christian holiness both symbolically and really. The symbol is the land of Canaan into which God told Moses to lead His people. But the real holiness teaching is found in the kind of relationship to God that Moses here describes.
To fear the Lord is the basis of all worthy religion. This Biblical word does not mean to be afraid of God. It means rather to recognize God and to acknowledge my relationship to Him. God made me; He preserves me and sets up the laws by which my life is governed. To fear the Lord means to respect God’s authority and to fashion my life accordingly.
To truly walk in the way of God is “to walk in all his ways.” Israel was to live after God’s ordinances rather than according to their new neighbors’ customs, or even according to their own inclinations. To walk in all of God’s ways means that I shall never choose one of my own ways in preference to one of God’s ways.
But this careful duty of holy living is not an unwilling slavery. We serve God because we love Him. We often think about Him and we delight to talk with Him.
To love God thus is to serve Him with all the heart. The young man who is in love wants above all else to please the girl he loves. The young woman in love puts herself out to discover and to do what her beloved enjoys. It is our best human picture of the soul’s true love for God. The song writer knew the secret of this high religion when he wrote:
I serve Him because I love Him;
I love Him because He first loved me; I give Him my heart’s devotion For time and eternity.*
— Haldor Lillenas
*Copyright 1920 and 1948 by Lillenas Publishing Co.