Assemble the people- men, women and children, as well as the aliens residing in your towns - so that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God and to observe diligently all the words of this law, and so that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to posses. Deuteronomy 31: 12-13 NRSV
"Okay, son, sit down here and let's go over a few ground rules. I will let you live in this place rent-free for as long as you follow my rules and not someone else's rules or regulations. And every seven years I need you to read these out loud to whomever is either living with you or just visiting - men, women, children, non-English speaking friends - so that they can learn like you to be afraid of me. And when you have children, do the same for them so that they also can learn to fear me as long as they live here for free."
That sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? But that is basically what God is telling the people through Moses. The message is: Read the law so that everyone living among you may also fear the Lord your God.
I call this equal-opportunity fear.
But I don't believe for a minute that God wants us to be fearful as much as God wants our complete respect, reverence and awesome wonder. It is like I talked about when we looked at Psalm 139 - there are things about God that are beyond our comprehension. Because of this we need to show appropriate honor to God.
And we need to pass along this reverence to all those who live with us. This is not a personal faith or a personal reverence. This is fear/respect of a community. this is not for one generation but for all generations. This is not for one race but for all races.
God, help me to be fully respectful of You. And may I pass this reverence to all who worship with me and those who will follow after me. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims