Because God is so great, people have a duty to serve him. If there was no other reason to respect God, that reason alone would be enough. It is wrong and foolish to serve false gods because the real God is so powerful.
Although that one reason is enough, God gives his people many other reasons. He has done many good things for his people, and they should be glad (Psalm 126:2-3). He freed Israelís people from their hard lives as slaves in Egypt (12:6). He gave them their own country (12:8). He saved them from their enemies (12:9-11). If they were loyal to him, he would do even more good things for them in the future (12:14)
That is still the experience of Godís people today. God saves them from the evil forces that formerly ruled their lives (Romans 8:1-2). He provides for them (Matthew 6:25-33). He protects them (Matthew 10:26-31). He gives them wonderful promises about the future (Revelation chapters 21 to 22).
Their reaction to Godís kindness should be love for him (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37-38). That love gives them a genuine desire to be loyal to him. As his loyal servants, they gladly choose to respect him and to obey him.
To Ďfearí God means to respect him. His loyal servants do that when they obey him. However, everyone should respect God. If they would not respect him because of his kindness to them, they should still respect him because of his greatness. People should remember that God is the judge of every person and every nation. For that reason, Samuel warned the people in Israel. In the past, they had behaved in an evil manner (12:9; 12:17). If they continued to do that, Godís judgement would be against both them and their king.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.