Trembling at God’s Word
Key Passage: Isaiah 66:1-2
Supporting Scripture: Psalms 23 | Psalms 119:105 | Psalms 119:111 | Psalms 119:114 | Psalms 119:130 | Psalms 119:165 | Isaiah 40:8 | Isaiah 66:1-2 | John 3:16 | John 14:27 | Romans 10:9 | 1 Peter 1:23 | 1 John 5:14-15
The reason the world has become so immoral and dangerous is because society has rejected God and His laws, commandments, and principles.
Many people today think their ideas are better than His, and they don’t want Him telling them how to live. However, God’s instructions were given to us for our good, and any society will benefit from following them. But when a civilization chooses to ignore or reject the Lord’s precepts, an increasingly corrupt culture results. Our responsibility as Christians is to make a positive contribution to our society by proclaiming, honoring, and living in accordance with God’s Word.
Despite the corrupt condition of our world, God has never lost control.
He is still sovereign over His creation, declaring that heaven is His throne, and that earth is His footstool (Isa. 66:1-2). Even Solomon’s temple, which was constructed for His glory, could not contain Him. He’s not impressed by what we build and accomplish but by those who are humble and contrite of spirit and who tremble at His Word (v. 2).
Throughout history, the Lord has preserved the purity of the Scripture, and today we have a wide variety of translations available to us. But do we really tremble at God’s Word? This simply means to honor, respect, and hold the Scripture in awe knowing that these are the very words of almighty God. If we are humble and contrite, we’ll recognize our need for His Word and be willing to yield to its authority in such a way that it affects and changes us. Scripture is our most precious possession, and we demonstrate how much we value and honor it every time we read and obey it.
The Attitude of the Person Who Trembles at God’s Word
- A Longing to Hear It. When we value the Scriptures, we come to church with a desire to hear truths from the Lord. As we’re taught, we follow along in the passage, listen carefully, and write down whatever the Lord lays on our hearts so we won’t forget. But this is not just a Sunday commitment. If we truly tremble at God’s Word, we’ll read it every day, asking Him for direction and guidance.
- A Desire to Believe It. Because the Lord is trustworthy and true, we can always believe what He says. By reminding Him of the promises we’ve read in His Word, we are able to pray with confidence, expecting Him to hear us and answer our requests when we ask anything according to His will (1 John 5:14-15).
- An Intention to Obey It. Trembling at God’s Word involves more than just reading and desiring it—the Lord expects us to obey it. This is our daily spiritual nourishment, and without it we’ll grow weak morally, spiritually, emotionally, and sometimes even physically. But when we read and obey His commands and principles, we’ll be strengthened in our walk with Christ. The Lord has blessed us by offering His thoughts and words so we can know what He expects of us.
The Benefits of Reading God’s Word
When we humble ourselves before the Word, acknowledging that it is given to us by the living God, we will receive the following blessings:
- God’s Word leads us to salvation. Although many of us came to Christ by hearing about Him from another person, the way of salvation is clearly revealed by simply reading the Bible (John 3:16; Rom. 10:9). We are all saved by believing the truth of Scripture whether we read it ourselves or are taught it by someone else (1 Pet. 1:23).
- The Scripture guides our steps. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” If we read and heed the Lord’s instructions, He will show us where to go, what to say, and how to make decisions. His Word also reveals when we’re heading in the wrong direction and warns us of the consequences of continuing down that path.
- God’s Word directs us to wisdom. “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:130). Scripture is our greatest protection. It’s like a shield before us, guarding our way and warning of danger. But if we neglect reading and obeying the Word, we won’t be able to distinguish right from wrong.
- It lifts our burden. Because the Lord is interested in every aspect of our lives, we can run to His Word in our pain, grief, loneliness, or sickness and receive strength and help in our time of trouble (Ps. 119:114).
- The Word of God brings joy. If we love the Word, we’ll find great joy and comfort in reading it (Ps. 119:111). When facing tough situations and discouragement, our first response will be to open the Scripture. Even if we don’t know where to read, the Lord will guide us to a passage that can restore our hope and joy. And if we don’t have a Bible with us, He can bring to mind the verses that we’ve stored in our hearts. Once we experience how the Scripture can change sorrow into joy, our love for the Lord and His Word will increase and overflow in praise and gratitude.
- The Scripture gives peace. Perhaps the most desired possession in the world is peace, but it can only be found in the Lord. “Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble” (Ps. 119:165). Peace means to be bound to something, and when that something is the Word of God, we are bound to Him and experience the peace Jesus promised to His disciples (John 14:27).
God honors and is committed to blessing those who respect and love His precious Word. It is the most valuable possession we own because it is His written message to us. From Genesis to Revelation it reveals the mind and heart of God. Everything else will pass away, “but the word of our God stands forever” (Isa. 40:8). The Lord is still on His throne and continues doing what He’s promised in His Word. When we believe and obey it, our lives are transformed.
- How important is God’s Word to you? How do your actual practices support or contradict your perception of its priority in your life?
- The Scripture is our spiritual nourishment, but sometimes we don’t have much of an appetite because we’ve filled up with worldly “junk food.” What kinds of “junk foods” rob you of your appetite for God’s Word? What practices or habits do you need to put aside and which ones do you need to put in place in order to acquire a taste for the truly nourishing bread of the Word?
- What are some of the benefits you have personally experienced by reading and obeying God’s Word?