Luther Quote of the Day

Then Moses returns to his exhortation. He praises the First Commandment, saying: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you?” (v. 12), as though he were saying: “This is the sum of the First Commandment, about which I have said all these things and on account of which everything previously said was done: that you should fear the Lord your God and walk and love and serve Him, that you should keep the Commandments which I command you today.” I have said above that for the Hebrews “fear of God” has the force of what we call “worship of God.” And notice the order here: “To fear, walk, love, serve with the whole heart, etc.”—all these Moses places ahead of what follows: “to keep the Commandments and statutes, etc.” (v. 13), that you may know that nothing of the outward commandments can be kept which pleases God unless it comes from a heart that fears, loves, obeys, and serves, so that the power of the First Commandment, which is faith, may rule and govern in all commandments and works; without it everything else is only a show and a mask.

Luther’s works, vol. 9: Lectures on Deuteronomy 1525

p 109


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