And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord. And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying, Go ye, enquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.( 2 Kings 22:8-13)
Isaiah 66 presents a sermon given by God himself to his congregation, Israel. He predicts that though Israel is one, God speaks to His people as a duality. There is a congregation within the congregation. The wider and more respectable congregation is very busy, doing things for God, such as sacrificing, building and furnishing a “house for Gd”, holding elaborate services of worship.
But He rebukes their faith as being on the level of the grossest idolatry. Why? They had come to think that they were doing these things for God, as though God needed their efforts. In fact they had reduced the whole enterprise of the Kingdom of God into a man made system of “will worship”, i.e. worship on their own terms and to their own glory, void of any real response to God himself. “When I called, none answered…”, saith the LORD.
Then God adresses a poor and despised remnant within the nation, and treats their worship as saving faith, approved of the Holy Spirit and the genuine article, although their brothers had cast them out.
They have these characteristics…but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word…(Isaiah 66:2).
They know their utter bankruptcy of Spirit, they are living in a state of true sorrow for sin, and they “Tremble at the Word of God”.
King Josiah offers an example of this same characteristic.
Josiah commissioned a remodeling project for the Temple had fallen into disrepair as had the worship of the people of Judah. The nation was definitely in decline morally and spiritually.
A scroll was found during the remodeling, which had long been forgotten. It was the book of Deuteronomy, the scroll of the covenant of God. When The King commanded it be read aloud to Him, He saw the implications of the broken law of God for the nation, and immediately instituted a series of national reforms based upon the Word of God.
This man trembled at the Word of God.
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
True spirituality trembles at the Word of God. This expression describes those who see the Word as authoritative, and who receive it with meekness as the last Word on any subject. Paul commended the Thessalonians on this point,
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.( I Thessalonians 2:13)
Because they value it, they put the Word above their own thoughts, opinions or traditional ways of looking at things. The Word is committed to memory, meditated upon, and the one who “trembles at the Word” is eager to understand the teaching derived from it, and is in fact hungry for the Word, ever feast in upon it.
Negatively, they don’t pick it apart, question, deny or loophole it. They do not presume to judge it, for they know that by the Word it is we who shall be judged.
Nor do they see the Word of God as a means to an end, something they can use to their own advantage, or to dominate others.
The Word has shattered them in their own sense of self righteousness, it has prevailed over their own thoughts, and the Word of God takes every contrary thought captive…rejecting the knowledge that exalts itself against the Knowledge of God.
Personal experience is always subordinated to the Word, in the true,God fearing piety. The Word is never denigrated as “mere head knowledge”, “the letter which kills” or “Doctrine”(as if doctrine is a bad thing. The whole approach of much of current evangelicalism smacks of contempt for the Word, not trembling before it.
The Book of the Acts of the Apostles begins with the preaching of the Word by the Holy Spirit, and the response,which illustrates this concept-
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?( Acts 2:37)
When was the last time your own heart was pricked?