Trembling at God’s Word

honey from the rock-ak-2018From a meditation on Isaiah 66:2, “…but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

…It means first of all that you mustn’t approach that Word with your most profound observations and reflections. It means that you should in all humility show God the honor that every father expects from his child. It also means that you should think of the God who addresses you in this Word as the only gyroscope of all wisdom, knowledge, and science. Accordingly, he is the source of all progress and deepening insight in life. His eye sweeps across the ages. He fathoms the depths of all things and their causes. His thoughts are higher than your imaginings by as much as the heavens are higher than the earth. For that reason and on that basis, bowing in awe before that Word, you should immediately submit your own humble spirit in obedience to the divine Spirit in his majesty. You should quietly, thoughtfully listen to what God is saying to you.

But “trembling at God’s Word” means even more.

…It shouldn’t merely bounce off our eardrum or glide smoothly through our soul’s networks. But it should directly, immediately, intensely, and totally penetrate our whole being. It should grip us in our entirety as spiritual beings. Its message should touch every spot in our soul. It should make us quiver in our total being. Not externally like the Quakers’ experience, as though our lips and hands should tremble. But internally, so that our hearts quiver in our chests. It should also mean that our spirits tremble ‘because the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword that cuts to the cleaving of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and is the judge of all thoughts.’

Taken from the new translation by James A. De Jong of Abraham Kuyper’s Honey from the Rock (Lexham Press, 2018), pp.196-97.

This particular meditation (#62 of Volume 1) is titled “The Person Who Trembles at My Word” and is based on Isaiah 66:2 (cf. above). Appropriate as we enter the Lord’s house tomorrow to hear the divine Word read, sung, and preached. May we seek and receive this kind of spiritual trembling.

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