What does God want?
For His people to fear His glorious and awesome name.
In fact, He told them that if they didn’t, He would send them plagues, sickness and exile. Most of them would die because they wouldn’t listen to God.
So there’s another thing God wants.
For His people to listen to Him and obey the words of instruction in His book.
The people were about to enter the Promised Land when God issued this warning. It’s part of a much bigger set of instructions about how He wanted them to live in the land. The main point was that they were to leave everything of Egypt behind – the things they remembered fondly and the things they had hated. Egypt was the land of slavery, but the people who had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years remembered its flesh pots fondly.
I live under the New Covenant, but I need to take this warning to heart too. God has saved me out of the bondage of sin and He wants me to fear His glorious and awesome name. He has also given me instructions in His book for how to live.
If I don’t, I don’t think He’ll send me to Egypt and He probably won’t inflict me with a plague. But I was a slave of sin, and I can think of plenty of ways that sin can make me sick. Anger, impatience, worry, envy, pride . . . not only make my soul sick, they can also make my body and my heart sick. And sin has a way of entangling me that pulls me back into bondage.
I’ve been saved by God’s grace from sin. The only right response is for me to fear Him and obey Him. The result of not doing that is to return to sin. Worshipping God and following His Word is what keeps me healthy.
I can fear and obey God or be miserable. It’s a no brainer.