Summary: A closer look at what reverence is and how we can better show reverence to God.
The Many Aspects of Reverence
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF TAWAS CITY MICHIGAN
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
I. What is reverence?
We have heard reverence for God defined a few times over the past few days. Each definition correct, but slightly differing.
The topic of reverence cannot be found in;
The Moody Handbook of Theology
Halley’s Bible Handbook
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
The Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible
The general understanding of why this is, states that as a society advances through the ages, its reverence for a higher power diminishes.
Reverence can be closer translated to our word “respect”
Jesus warned us of this diminishing “respect” in His parable of the “tenants”.
The Parable of the Tenants
33"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. 34When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
35"The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37Last of all, he sent his son to them. ’They will respect my son,’ he said.
38"But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ’This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40"Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"
41"He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
42Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:
" ’The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone[h];
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’[i]?
43"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."[j]
The application is simple here.
God created all, and it was good.
He gave it to mankind, who in turn did not “respect” the landowner.
So the landowner sent men, prophets. But they were killed.
So he sent more, but the same thing happened.
So he sent his son saying, “they will respect my son.”
But they did not.
God’s kingdom is like this vineyard.
It is reserved for those who respect, or show reverence to, the owner, God.
It is given to those who will not only show reverence to the owner, but PAY TRIBUTE WHEN THE VINYARD PRODUCES FRUIT.
This is tithing to the Lord.
Because it is HIS, and He is to be respected in the way HE SAYS.
What happened when Cain wanted to show reverence to God in his way, on his terms.
God was not pleased with him.
So when we show respect to God, it has to be on His terms.
II. Why should we have reverence for God?