This morning I read the story of Gideon asking God for a sign in Judges 6:36-40 ESV “Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground, let there be dew.” And God did so that night, and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.”
The phrase, “let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more,” reminded me of Abraham asking God to lower the number of righteous persons to spare Sodom and Gomorrah. Even though they had a relationship with God, there was still reverence, an acknowledgment that they were speaking to the ruler of the universe.
Reverence is respect or honor paid to a worthy object -to God (1 Kings 18:3, 12; Heb. 12:28); to God’s sanctuary (Lev. 19:30; 26:2); and to God’s commandments (Ps. 119:48). The failure to revere God (Deut. 32:51) and the act of revering other gods (Judg. 6:10) have dire consequences. Reverence for Christ is expressed in mutual submission within the Christian community (Eph. 5:21). Christian Persecution takes on new meaning as suffering becomes an opportunity for revering Christ (1 Pet. 3:14-15).Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
When I read Old Testament stories, and even of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts chapter five, I am reminded of the holiness of God. I think about how other God is. Yet, while we are to come boldly before the throne of grace and while we pray to God as our Father, these things should not negate a level of reverence with which we approach Him.
I believe many of us have forgotten the importance of reverence. We presume upon God by taking a directive approach in prayer instead of making requests known unto God. He is sovereign; we are not. God gave particular commands in the Old Testament concerning His priests and temple. While we are not under that system, we can observe the reverence and understand the holiness of God from the book of Leviticus. Reverence is not legalism; it is appropriate.
Yes, God is our Father, He is also the ruler of the universe, He is holy other, and even as adopted children, we should have a high reverence for Him, His Word, and His sanctuary. Therefore, we need to worry less about how welcomed the world feels and be more concerned with the honor and worship of God.
It’s a good idea to take stock of our lives and our church from time to time. Is it about God, or is it about us? Are we looking for what a verse means to us, or are we concerned with knowing what God said? Is it about a song that gives us goosebumps or one that is biblically accurate and magnifies God?
Is it no big deal to us when we come before God, or do we acknowledge what a privilege it is to stand before God? Does His holiness keep us from sin, or have we bought into a lie that grace excuses it? Take some time and ponder these questions, take an internal inventory, pray through your answers, journal your thoughts, and make necessary changes.