“Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the LORD. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.” (Isaiah 66:1-2 NKJV)
Do you tremble at God’s Word? Are you shaking when you read the Bible? That sounds almost crazy… Why would a person ever tremble when reading a book? That sounds totally bizarre!
That word “tremble” means to have reverential fear, and we are to tremble while reading the Bible. I’ve been in churches where everyone stands at the reading of the Scriptures. The first time I experienced that, I thought it was weird. We stand to honor the National Anthem, so maybe I’m the weird one… Maybe we should stand up for the public reading of the Word of God. That could be one way to reverence it..
In a way, I think we have made our faith way too casual, like Jesus is our best friend. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: We were made in His image; He was not made in ours. Certainly, He is our best friend, but He is also our Creator, Ruler, King, and Judge. The Bible says we are not to fear man but to fear the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
A day is coming when we will all stand before God to give account for how we have lived on earth. And yet, the idea of fearing God seems to be lost from the church today. God is not just another man; He is God Almighty! And one day, every person ever born will have to stand before Him. I’m afraid we have lost sight of that day. Many Christians don’t want to hear about the Judgment Seat of God, but the Bible assures us that it will happen. I wonder what we will say when we see Him and His Word – face to face.
In writing this article, I couldn’t help but recall a paper I wrote in seminary. It was about the history of the Bible…how it was written, compiled, and preserved down through the centuries. As I was researching, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks: The Bible truly is an amazing book! Let me share a few highlights from what I learned…
The Bible was written over a period of about 1600 years, on three different continents, by over forty authors. That in itself makes it pretty unique, to say the least! Those authors came from various backgrounds of life. They included farmers, shepherds, servants, fisherman, a doctor, prophets, priests, disgraced royalty, and of course, kings…just to name a few. But here’s the amazing thing: Each one wrote about God’s amazing plan of salvation. How was that possible; how could they all participate in one story? It was only possible, because they spoke and wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. (I Peter 2: 20-21) The Bible was not just written by men; it was written by God, with the help of men. But that’s not all…
God has preserved this book through the centuries at the cost of many lives.
Men have used about every possible means to destroy the Bible, and yet, it is still here! They burnt it, outlawed it, forbid people to own and read it, and even locked it away for hundreds of years. People have despised it, hated it, distorted it, perverted it, misinterpreted it, and completely rejected it. No other book has ever been as analysed, scrutinized, dissected, revised, and misrepresented as the Holy Bible. Without a doubt, the Word of God is the most disputed book of all times. Hundreds, if not thousands, have been tortured or killed in the preservation of this book – and yet, we tend to take it for granted.
For many today, the Bible is just another book that collects dust. But is it? John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” We understand “Word” in this verse as referring to Jesus. In the beginning was Word/Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. Further, the apostle John states, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) The Word became flesh! Jesus became the embodiment of the Word of God. He was everything God had to say to us in human form. He was the personification of God’s Word. You can’t separate Jesus from the Word of God, just as you can’t separate Jesus from the Father. “Jesus said…He who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9)
When Jesus walked the earth, many were unable to recognize that He was God in the flesh. To them, He was just another man. And yet, when the apostle John saw Him on the isle of Patmos (Revelation 1:17), he fell at His feet like a dead man. For the first time in his life, John saw Jesus unveiled, and he was unable to stand in His presence.
Sadly, as Jesus was veiled to many on earth, the Bible is also veiled to the natural man. (See 1 Corinthians 2:14) One day, however, the veil will be lifted, and we will not only see Jesus in all of His glory, we will see the Bible as the very Word of God. Undoubtedly, on that Day, we will tremble at His Word.
That Day is coming, but what about today? Have we dismissed the Bible as being just “another book?” When we read it, do we realize that the One who inspired it is still speaking today? The Bible is not just another book; it’s a living book that still speaks to those who are willing to hear. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Something amazing happens when the veil is removed from our heart, and we see the Bible as it truly is – the living Word of God. Look again at the promise in Isaiah 66:2b. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.” God really sees the one who trembles at His Word!