“Fear the Lord your God, serve him only. . . .”
Fear can be caused by many things. It can come from not knowing or understanding something. It can come when we face danger. It can come when we discover something more powerful than we are—or something that we imagine is more powerful.
God knew his people would face many fears as they entered a new land. They would encounter things they didn’t understand, and they would face powerful enemies. They were literally walking into the unknown.
God also knew that the fear of something powerful could lead people to veneration and worship as well. And that was one thing God would not allow. He didn’t want his people to worship other gods, or idols, or the sun or moon, or riches, or anything else. None of those things could bless his people with full life. Only God could do that. So he called them to fear, worship, and serve him only.
In our world today, we might think that sounds rather silly. After all, we don’t worship other gods like the people of other nations did back then. But we need to be careful. There are many things in our lives that we treat with awe and devotion. There are many things we can love or fear instead of God. But God wants us to fear and love only him. His power and glory are beyond anything we can imagine. Watch out for things in your life that can distract you and keep you from serving God.
Lord and God, help us to fear you alone and to serve you alone. Help us to love you with everything we have. Amen.