They Fell On Their Face And Were Sore Afraid When He Spoke
By: Brian A. Yeager
How do you approach God in prayer, song, thought, study, etc.? Do you ever approach Him to give thanks for your food, as you ought to (I Timothy 4:1-5), just as a means to get a bite in your mouth? Do you ever open His word with the casual approach you might use when you read a magazine, newspaper, newsfeed, etc.? Do you always approach Him with fear and reverence? Such is what He expects. Notice these two verses: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).
I often wonder if people really think about the fact that when you are reading the Scriptures you are reading the words of our Creator. Do you realize that or do you just consider them the words of men? The Scriptures are inspired, meaning they are “God-breathed” (II Timothy 3:16). Those men who have written the original texts were speaking/writing the words that God directly gave them (II Samuel 23:2, Job 32:8, Isaiah 39:5, Jeremiah 1:9, Matthew 10:16-20, John 16:13, I Corinthians 14:37, Galatians 1:10-12, and II Peter 1:20-21). How can we approach those words casually? How could we approach those words, when they are being preached, casually? The word of God is powerful (Romans 1:16 and Hebrews 4:12) and meant to be held in high respect (Psalms 119:117). We should tremble at His word (Isaiah 66:5).
The truth is, hearing God’s voice and reading it in the Scriptures are, to carnal minds, two different things. People say that they know the Scriptures are the word of God, but you just know if they heard a voice from Heaven they’d treat that much differently than the written text. Though we can read that rejecting the word of God will bring about severe consequences (II Thessalonians 1:7-9), that for some reason is just not all that scary for many. Now, let’s consider ourselves. Do you, do I, treat the written word differently than if God just started talking to us right now? What happened when God speaks from above? Let’s get our thoughts flowing a little more by seeing what happened when God spoke directly to man.
When People Realize They Are Hearing From God They Fear And Show Respect
“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid... And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me” (Matthew 17:1-6 and Acts 22:6-7)?
When a voice comes from Heaven there is a drastic reaction. We have just read two accounts, and could have cited more. That makes me wonder how much we consider the pages of the written word to be the actual communication of God to us. I recently had a discussion with an individual, who professes to be in Christ, and he essentially mocked the word of God. I was speaking to him about the power of the Gospel to convert a person and he said: “you just think the Bible is the answer to everything.” Yes, I do. The word of God provides us with everything we need (II Peter 1:3-4). We are to live by His word (Luke 4:4). We should esteem the word of God more than our necessary food (Job 23:12). Rather than matches, a knife, protein, a compass, shelter, map, weapon, etc.; the word of God should be the FIRST and MOST IMPORTANT item in any survival kit (Luke 11:28 and James 1:21-25). If you deny that, you are saying that staying alive in the flesh is more important that staying alive spiritually. Where do you think that will get you (John 12:48, II Thessalonians 2:10-12, and Hebrews 2:1-3)? Additionally, if you downplay the power and significance of the word of God, essentially mistreating His word, you are in deep trouble!
So Consider How We Should Treat His Written Word
How do you feel when you hear someone use the Lord’s name in vain? Don’t you fear for that person? Don’t you get upset? Why? We fear for and get upset with people who use the Lord’s name in vain because we know how God views such an action (Exodus 20:7, Deuteronomy 5:11, and Psalms 139:20). Have you considered that there is something that God Himself has exalted above His own name? Consider this: “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalms 138:2). Doesn’t that mean that we should fear disrespecting God’s word even above using His name in vain?
God expects us to handle His word carefully (II Timothy 2:14-18). Faithful men understand that they must handle God’s word with caution (II Corinthians 4:2). He tells us that there are severe consequences for adding or taking away from His word (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:5-6, Galatians 1:6-12, and Revelation 22:18-19). Jesus said His words are spirit and life (John 6:63). However, the mistreatment of His word will lead to destruction (II Peter 3:15-17). We need to handle the word of God in a way that shows we understand the power of salvation (Mark 16:15-16) and destruction (Proverbs 1:24-31) within those words!
The Scriptures are the word of God (I Corinthians 2:9-13). The Scriptures are the mind of the Lord revealed unto us (I Corinthians 2:16). When you open up the Scriptures treat them like that. Understand that those words are from the Lord God of heaven and earth. Show reverence to Him in how you approach His words (i.e. Psalms 119:128-152). Be very attentive unto His word (Nehemiah 8:1-3). In conclusion, consider these: “Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments… I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways” (Psalms 119:6 and Psalms 119:15).
Volume 15 – Issue 33 - May 3rd, 2015