Key Text: Proverbs 8:1-9
The only problem with churches using buildings, is not money, but windows. There are never enough of them. Why? Because the church has a constant need to stay in touch with His glory and holiness in the earth and heavens around us, (Isa. 6:3) it is healthy and generates praise! Keeping a congregation closed in a building to worship is good in preventing distractions and a harsh environment, but limiting our worship to an auditorium limits our whole view of how big and great God really is. Never lose sight of God as our Creator, Gen. 1:1, it keeps the dominion God gave us in check and maintains quality leadership, as well as a consistent environment for growing spiritual fruit.Keep in mind, that irreverent behavior and worship which reflects ‘self’ instead of God, is always perpetrated by people who live their life in the world, instead of on the earth. Our lifestyle is always full of materialism, instead of dependency on God for necessities on earth. This is why Jesus said that it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, because he is constantly following ‘rules’ instead of God Himself. Rich people are bombarded by our own dependency on ‘things’ instead of God. Therefore we are more easily attracted to making our worship to God more materialistic and attractive by the world’s expectations, instead of God’s expectations. Matthew 19:16-26. Rich people are good at making rules about our way of life for God, instead of making sacrifices as a way of life for God. If this is our emphasis and direction, we will experience the ‘awe’ in reverence towards God in worship. Our God is great & worthy of constant praise & prayer. 1Ths. 5:17-18. Tennyson the English poet wrote “Let knowledge grow from more to more, but more of reverence in us dwell, that mind and soul, according well, may make one music as before” (1850). He is observing the truth that when humans replace reverence for the Creator with knowledge of the creation we become uglier.
To help us express reverence in our praise & prayer, we should learn about three contrasts David puts in Psalm 8:1-9.
A.The glory of God and the frailty of our humanity, v1-2. Psalm 19:1-2.
B.The vastness of the Universe and the tiny space mankind occupies, v3-4.
C.The dominion God gave us over His creation in our service, v5-6, Gen. 1:28.
Of course all of these things are magnified in Jesus (Son of Man), and in a smaller way, exemplified in the Christian (siblings of the Son of Man). Jesus proved in the transfiguration that He possessed the glory of God, yet suffered death at humanities horrors inflicted on himself. Jesus was small in this Universe he helped create, in that he was born in poverty, lived homeless and died a pauper, but was raised eternally victorious as God. Jesus also reflected dominion over creation in many miracles, yet had to work with his own hands with the servants in creation to eek out a physical existence while on earth. It is amazing that scientist with all their knowledge can accept our universe as infinite, but reject an eternal God who created and controls it. Even sceptics and scoffers can not question “a superior power” when they truly consider the conception and birth of a single baby human being, Psa. 8:2, 14:1-2. Now that we have examined what helps and hinders reverence, let’s define it:
Leviticus 25:35-37 is a good example of what it means to reverence God in our lifestyle.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 expresses our deepest respect in our heart for God in daily life.
Hebrews 12:9, shows a good analogy of Christian reverence towards God in our heart.
In conclusion: reverence is the physical expression of submission to Jesus as Lord on Sunday and throughout the week, that is a humble act of love that physically expresses the gift of holiness God put in our heart.