Reverend is His Name
Psalm 111, verse 9, says; “He has sent redemption to His people. He has commanded His covenant forever. Holy and reverend is His name.”
I think that a lot of people hear that verse, and think that the word “reverend” is a proper name for God. It’s kind of like saying; Bill is his name, or John is his name. When referring to God, people think that “Reverend” is His name. But that’s not the case at all.
Another word commonly used in bible translations, instead of the word “reverend”, is “awesome”. Another word sometimes used is, “feared”. “Holy and awesome is His name.” “Holy and feared is His name.” The name of God, is a HOLY name, and it is AWE inspiring, and it is a FEARFUL name! All these words DESCRIBE the name of God. God’s name, is to be held in reverence!
Reverence means.. “to stand in awe of, and to stand in respect of.” We need to RESPECT the name of God! And we need to FEAR of His name.
Hebrews 10, verse 31 tells us; “It is a fearful thing, to fall into the hands of the living God!” Hebrews 4, verse 13 tells us; “And there is no creature hidden from His sight. But all things are open, and laid bare, to the eyes of Him who we have to do.”
Most people live as if they have a choice in the matter. They think they don’t have to have anything to do with God, if they don’t want to. God does give us some choices, but that’s not one of them. “It is a fearful thing, to fall into the hands, of HIM with whom we have to do!”
We HAVE to deal with God! Like it or not, we have to deal with God. Or to put it another way; God WILL deal with us! That alone, should be enough, to make you quiver a little bit.
“For we must ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good, or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5, verse 10
We WILL deal with Him, and He will deal with us.
What on Earth is a “Synecdoche”?
Have you ever heard of a figure of speech called a “synecdoche”? A “synecdoche” is a grammatical term. It’s a fancy name for the practice of using a part of something, to refer to the whole thing. For instance; When you hear the phrase; “all hands on deck”, you know that it’s not just a person’s hands that are being called for, it’s the whole person, who needs to be on that deck. And when the military says it has 1,000 “boots on the ground”, it refers to the whole soldier, not just his boots.
How about when a man asks for a woman’s “hand in marriage”? He doesn’t just want to marry her hand, does he? He wants ALL of her. So that’s what a synecdoche is.
So.. “Holy and reverend is His NAME” It isn’t just the NAME of God, that’s really being referred to here. It’s God Himself, in His entirety, that is reverend. It’s God’s whole being, that is so awesome, that it makes us stand in FEAR of Him. We don’t just respect His NAME, we respect GOD!
Now, we’re not going to talk about the fact that some men, and even some women, have the audacity to literally want THEIR name to be “Reverend”. When I hear someone want to be called “Reverend’, all I can do is shake my head in DIS-respect. GOD is reverend, and awesome, and worthy of fear, and of the highest respect. I’d hate to be the one putting MYSELF, on a pedestal next to God! Because I BELIEVE, that “It IS, a fearful thing, to fall into the hands, of Him, with whom we have to do.”
And here’s another “synecdoche” for you. If we fall into the “hands of God”, because of a lack of respect, or for any reason, it won’t just be His “hands” that we’ll be falling into. Let me read to you, Hebrews 12, verses 28 & 29; “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have GRATITUDE, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service, with REVERENCE and AWE! FOR, our God, is a consuming fire!”
When you fall into “the hands of God”, you’re falling into a “consuming fire”! Hebrews 10, verse 27, talks about “a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire, that will consume the adversary.” We do NOT want to become an adversary, by disrespecting God.
How Can We Respect God?
So then, let’s talk a little bit, about respecting God. Let’s talk about having “reverence” for God. How are we going to have reverence and respect for God? We’ve never even SEEN God. We’ve never MET Him, and we never WILL meet Him, at least not in this lifetime. But yet, we all have to DEAL with Him. And since we all have to DEAL with God, and since we have to deal with Him with RESPECT, how are we going to do that?
Let me ask you this; How are we instructed in the bible, to show our LOVE for God? Doesn’t Jesus tell us how, in John chapter 14, and verse 15? Jesus simply says; “If you LOVE Me, you will KEEP My commandments.” Jesus didn’t tell us to just SAY I love you. He told us to KEEP His commandments, and SHOW that we love Him.
Now, we’ve never seen God, and we’ve never met Him, BUT God HAS spoken to us, hasn’t He? So then, what’s the ONLY way for us to respect God? We can’t just SAY, we respect Him. We’ve got to DO something don’t we? Yes we do.. The only way to respect God, is to respect the things He has TOLD us to do, by OBEYING the things He has told us to do.
If we don’t respect God, by OBEYING what He tells us to do, what do you think our “end” will be? Let me give you a hint.. “He became the author (or the source) of eternal salvation, to all those who OBEY Him.” Hebrews 5:9
“There is salvation in NO one else; For there is NO other name under heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) So if salvation will be the “end” of those who obey God, what will be the “end” of those who DIS-obey God? It won’t be salvation, will it?
True Reverence = Salvation
I want to try to impress upon you today, that having reverence, and respect for God, is a matter of salvation. I don’t think this is an exaggeration, and I don’t think it’s unkind to say this, but if we don’t have enough respect for God, to DO the things He tells us to do, then WE WILL BE LOST!
You don’t have to go out and murder someone. You don’t have to go out and steal something. You don’t have to go out and do anything terrible at all. Just sit home and do nothing, and you WILL be lost.
God’s word, tells us to do things like “pray without ceasing”. (1 Thessalonians 5:17). You can probably do that at home can’t you? But the word also tells us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2). That one might require us to go out and get involved with other people.
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy; “But be thou an example of the believers.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
A lot of people might say; I can have a part in that. I’ll be the one that YOU can be an example towards, and I’ll be the one whose burdens YOU can bear, and I’ll be the one who YOU pray for, without ceasing. I really think that’s how a lot of people feel. God can’t really expect ME to be the example, can He?
Think about what that would mean, if God expected YOU to be the example, of a Christian? “Be THOU an example of the believers.” Think about the person sitting in YOUR seat right now. That’s YOU! You are the one, who God is speaking to. And God is telling you, to respect His word, and to show your reverence for Him, by being an example of the believers.
Here’s what Paul said that we should be an example OF; 1 Timothy 4, verse 12; “..In speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity, show yourself to be an example of those who believe.” That’s actually a pretty tall order. For each one of us, to be an example, in all of those areas; In speech, and in conduct, and in love, in faith, and in purity.
If you were to BE, the example of what a Christian ought to be, in all those areas, how MUCH would you have to change yourself, to be that example? How much would we ALL have to change ourselves? That’s something we need to think about, before we “fall into His hands”.
The word translated “example” is sometimes translated “pattern”. In other words, we NEED to be, the “pattern” that is to be duplicated by others, who profess to be Christians. That’s a lot of responsibility that God places on each one of us. How many of us have respect for that responsibility? How many of us truly have reverence for the will of God, concerning the pattern that we should display in ourselves?
Would we be embarrassed, to see a bunch of other people imitating our pattern? So that when we look at them, we’re actually seeing ourselves? Think about it. Would you be glad, or would you be embarrassed to have other people, pattern themselves after you?
Our Worship Reveals Our Respect
Here’s a question for you. What is the single, most important activity, that we can enagage in, that truly shows our reverence for God? There’s a lot of things we need to do, to respect God, but there’s ONE thing that comes before all others. Do you know what it is?
I’ll give you a hint. In Mathew 4, verse 10, Jesus quotes an old testament scripture, and He says; “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only!”
Here’s how that verse is stated in the old testament; “You shall fear the Lord your God, and you shall WORSHIP Him, and swear by His name!” (Deuteronomy 6:13)
To worship, means.. “To go down to the knees, to kiss towards, to do reverence, to do obeisance.” Obeisance means.. “Deferential respect”. Respect, deferred to God. It means “submissive” respect. Submitting to God, out of respect for Him, and out of respect for His word.
Submitting to God’s word.. God’s word is truth, isn’t it? Jesus says it is. In John 17, verse 17, He says, “Thy word is truth.” You’ve heard what Jesus said in John 4, verse 23, haven’t you? “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the TRUE worshippers, shall worship the Father in spirit and truth. For, such people, the Father SEEKS to be His worshippers.”
“The TRUE worshippers”, will worship God, “IN SPIRIT”. In other words, a true worshipper won’t just come to a worship service, and plop themselves down, and think about everything BUT respecting God. If you’re a “true worshipper”, your reverence for God, will be the ONLY thing on your mind!
But in reality, a lot of people, come to worship, with a lot of OTHER things on their mind. They’ve got a lot of “physical things” on their mind. Have you ever done anything that you shouldn’t have been doing during worship? Did you ever make out a grocery list, DURING the worship service? Did you ever sit there and clip your nails? Did you ever just simply take a nap? ANYTHING, that has to do with “physical desires”, has NO place in worship. And it simply shows our DIS-respect for God.
I hope everyone is paying attention, because your salvation depends on it! “True worshipers, will be concerned with the spirit, not with the body.
But “true worshippers”, will also respect God, by worshipping in TRUTH. In other words, they will worship according to the PATTERN, that the words of the bible, have set forth. True worshippers will BE, that EXAMPLE, and that PATTERN, of what a true Christian should be.
That pattern of worship, set forth by God, in the new testament, involves, coming together on the first day of the week, and partaking of the Lord’s supper. Just like we read in Acts 20, and verse 7; “And on the first day of the week, when we came together to “break bread”..”
I spoke earlier about the figure of speech called a “synecdoche”, where a part of something is used to refer to the whole thing. That’s how it is with the phrase, “break bread”. It refers to the Lord’s supper. It refers to the bread, AND the fruit of the vine. And true Christians came together, on the first day of the week, to worship God in this manner, according to His word.
Acts 2, verse 42 says; “And they were CONTINUALLY devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.” In other words, they didn’t do it one first day of the week, and then skip the next. “They continually devoted themselves..” They respected God’s word, didn’t they?
In 1 Corinthians 11, verse 18, we read these words; “..When you come together as a church..”
1 Corinthians 14, verse 23 says; “If therefore the whole church should assemble..”
Verse 26 says; “..WHEN you assemble..”
And once again, Acts 20, verse 7 says; “And on the first day of the week, WHEN WE CAME TOGETHER TO BREAK BREAD..”
Warning: “Assembly Required”
You CANNOT worship God acceptably, on the first day of ANY week, unless you are willing to “assemble together” on that day, to “break the bread”, and to participate in the other acts of worship, that the bible instructs us to be a part of. The only exception to that fact, would be if it is completely beyond your capability, to assemble together. I’m sure that you can think of one or two things that could truly PREVENT you from assembling together.
But please, listen closely; The decision to assemble together, or not to assemble together, EVERY first day of the week, is a personal decision. Just like the decision whether or not to believe the bible. Or the decision whether or not to be baptized. The decision is yours, it’s between you and God.
But really, what’s the difference, whether you disrespect God by not believing His word, or whether you disrespect God by refusing to be baptized, or whether you disrespect God by refusing to assemble on the first day of the week? What’s the difference?
Those who are saved, make up a “church” of Christ. And you KNOW what the word “church” really means right? It means.. “the congregation, or the assembly”. The assembly of those who have been called out of the world, by God.
Why do you suppose that God chose a word that means.. “a congregation, or an assembly”? It’s because He demands that we congregate together, and assemble together, as His people, so that we can properly, worship HIM! Assembling together, is clearly a matter of respect, and reverence for the God of heaven who created us all, and who sent His only begotten Son, to bleed for us, and to die for us, and to save us.
Titus 2, verse 11 says; “For the grace of God that brings salvation, hath appeared to all men.” But yet Jesus said in Mathew 7, verse 14; “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow, that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”
Why is that? Why is it that the offer of salvation has appeared to everyone, but few will actually be saved?
It’s all a matter of respect. Respect and reverence for God, and for His word.