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Reverence And Awe

If we are to conform to the will of God concerning our approach unto Him, whether in private prayer or in assembly prayer and worship, it is essential that we should have some conception as to the majesty, glory and intense holiness of the eternal God. To this end God has given us, in the Holy Scriptures, many accounts of His wonderful and awesome appearances to men. Thus we may have a true, although limited, appreciation of the One with whom we have to do. The majesty and glory of God, as seen in creation, produced a wonderful effect in the hearts of godly men of old.

David, on one occasion, wrote, "When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?" (Psalm 8.8, 4).

When man is viewed in relation to God's creation he is less than nothing. In Isaiah the same theme is seen: "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand? ... the nations are as a drop of a bucket ... All the nations are as nothing before Him... To whom then will ye liken God? ... He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth" (Isaiah 40.12-22).

The perplexing questions, asked among many, of God's servant Job were, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" ... "Hast thou comprehended the breadth of the earth? Declare, if thou knowest it all." (See Job 39.) Is it any wonder that the answer given by Job is a proof to us of the effect that the questions had upon him, "Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer Thee? " (Job 40.4).

With regard to the intense holiness of God, the words of Isaiah come afresh to us, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips" (Isaiah 6.5). Such was the cry wrung from his heart as he was privileged to gaze upon the King, and to hear the cry of the six-winged seraphim, "Holy, holy, holy, ... is the LORD of Hosts" (Isaiah 6.3). The psalmist also has recorded, "The LORD reigneth; He is apparelled with majesty ... Thou art from everlasting ... Holiness becometh Thine house, 0 LORD, for evermore" (Psalm 93. 1-5).

The apostle Paul in writing to the Hebrew saints, regarding their approach to the heavenly Zion, as a collective people, describes that memorable occasion when Jehovah appeared unto His people at Sinai in such a fearful way, and instructs them, that, although they were living in the day of God's grace, Israel's God is their God, the unchangeable, holy, righteous and just God. Thus he instructs them, " Let us have grace, whereby we may offer service wellpleasing to God with REVERENCE and AWE: for our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews t2. 28, 29).

May a consideration of these things have the desired effect upon us! Then we shall find ourselves coming before our God with the same heart condition as was found in the Psalmist, when he wrote, "But as for me, in the multitude of Thy lovingkindness will I come into Thy house: In Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple" (Psalm 5.7).

And it will be ours to enjoy this promise ; " For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit " (Isaiah 57. 15).