The Awesome Word

I. Undeserved persecution does not squelch awe for God’s Word.

A. Princes persecute (hunt, hound) without a cause (Psalm 119:161).

1. Hunt the righteous – without cause – render evil for good.

a. Psalm 109:1-3 -- Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.
b. Psalm 109:4-5 -- For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

2. God’s praise comes when we “suffer” for Christ’s name and sake.

a. 1 Peter 2:19-20 -- For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
b. 1 Peter 2:21-23 -- For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

B. Awe (fear, dread, tremble) for God’s word stands in the Godly heart.

1. God’s words come from the Creator of the Heavens and Earth.

a. Isaiah 51:12-16 -- I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou...forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth;....I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.
b. And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people
c. Deuteronomy 5:29 -- O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

2. God’s word can and should bring “fear” (awe) to all who hear them.

a. Jeremiah 36 records a very interesting incident during the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah.
b. Jeremiah is given a direct dictation from the LORD (36:1-3)
c. Baruch (Jeremiah’s scribe) is commissioned to write down “all the words” (36:4-7)
d. Baruch is commanded to read the words in public (36:8-10)
e. Michaiah (one of the King’s men) is present at the public reading and tells the King’s nobles of the message (36:11-14)
f. Baruch is summoned to the nobles, the message is read in their hearing, and all are afraid of the message (36:15-16)
g. Baruch is told to hide he and Jeremiah; the nobles hide the scroll, and tell the message to the king (36:17-20)
h. King Jehoiakim demands to see the roll itself, then slashes the roll with a knife and throws it into the fireplace (36:21-23).
i. Jehoiakim’s arrogant defiance of the Word of God encourages the nobles and they became “not afraid” (36:24-26)
j. Jeremiah is re-commissioned by God to take “another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll” (36:27-32)

II. Godly attitudes (a godly heart) produce godly passion in a godly person.

A. Rejoicing at God’s word is a true pleasure (Psalm 119:162).

1. It is like the spoils of war (Numbers 31)

2. It is like treasure found in a field (Matthew 13:44)

3. It is like a pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46)

4. Proverbs 23:23 -- Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

B. Hatred for un-truth is the result of love for God’s Word.

1. The Law of God is the foundation for all Truth (Psalm 19:7-9)

a. The law of the LORD is perfect
b. The testimony of the LORD is sure
c. The precepts of the LORD are right
d. The commandment of the LORD is pure
e. The fear of the LORD is clean
f. The rules of the LORD are true and righteous altogether

2. The Word of God IS Truth (John 17:17)

a. The Lord Jesus embodies the Truth (John 14:6)
b. The core attribute of God is Truth (1 John 1:5)

3. The reaction to Truth identifies God’s children (John 3:19-21)

a. John 8:12 -- Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
b. Isaiah 5:20-21 -- Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
c. Luke 11:34-36 – The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
d. Matthew 6:22-24 --The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

C. Praise and Peace are part and parcel to a love for God’s Word (Psalm 119:164-165)

1. Continual praise is a conscious part of a godly person.

a. “Praise” is the Hebrew, HALAL = “shining”
b. Job 31:26 -- If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness
c. Isaiah 13:10 -- For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light:

2. Continual peace eliminates “stumbling” under opposition.

a. Proverbs 3:1-2 -- My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
b. Isaiah 32:17 -- And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever
c. Philippians 4:6-7 -- Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

D. Hope in God’s Word and obedience are entwined (Psalm 119:166)

1. Hope in the Old Testament “examined” the message.

a. The Hebrew root meaning was to “tarry” or to “linger”
b. The use of the word emphasizes “learning”

2. Hope in the New Testament “expects” the fulfilment.

a. Romans 5:11 -- ...we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement – Greek; katallage  -- every where else translated “reconcile.”
b. Hebrew for “atonement” is kaphar = “covering”
1) Kaphar used some 80 times in the Old Testament
2) Atonement is temporary – no lasting joy – must be repeated year after year (Hebrews 9:6-7; 9:25; 10:1)
c. “Atonement” (in the sense of temporary covering) is never used in the New Testament.
1) Romans 5:10 -- ... we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
2) 2 Corinthians 5:18 -- And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ
d. We are to know the hope of our calling (Ephesians 5:18)
e. We are to have “full assurance of hope” (Hebrews 6:11)
f. We are to have a “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3)
g. We are to give a “reason of the hope” (1 Peter 3:15)

E. Testimonies and Precepts are obeyed with love (Psalm 119:167)

1. Psalm 25:10 -- All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

2. Psalm 119:2-3 -- Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

3. John 14:21 -- He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

4. Romans 7:22 -- For I delight in the law of God after the inward man

F. All our “ways” are known to God – therefore we obey (Psalm 119:168)

Psalm 139

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.

You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.

You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.

You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me;

Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

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