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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Ekev 46-5


Deuteronomy 10:12-22

And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

Deut. 10:12-13 NIV

What does the Eternal require from us?

In the section of the Shemah (Deut. 6:4-5) the Eternal highlights love as the most important thing for man. But in this text fear of the Eternal is mentioned as the first thing. How are we going to understand this? What is more important, love or fear?

If you are a parent, what do you appreciate the most from your children, that they respect you or that they love you? Both things are necessary but in my opinion, love is more important. Then we have to understand this text in the light of the Shemah. We can understand it like the fear of the Eternal is the first step to love Him with all our heart keeping His commandments and statutes.

Fear has two levels. The first level is the one who fears punishment for the sin and the second level is the one that shows reverence. The one who grows in obedience based on love is going to transition more and more from the first to the second level, from the level of fear to punishment to the level of reverence.

Fear of the Eternal drives men towards a right behaviour. Love of the Eternal drives men to serve Him and keep His commandments and statutes.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 is written not only for the Jew but for all men: "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." (NIV)

Keep the commandments with the right motivation and it will go well with you in this life and the next one.

Kol tuv,


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