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Respect For The Word Of God

Respect For the Word of God

    God has written two sets of Laws.  In both cases, God wrote to those who were His people.  The Old Testament Law of God to Israel was specifically to them, to direct their lives in accordance to the Will of God.  God had chosen a people; those descendants of Abraham to fulfill His plan to bring His Son to the world.  This people needed a Law. God gave them one.  However, not all the Jews in the day of Jesus had respect or reverence for the Word of God.   In Mark 7:13 we read what Jesus told the Pharisees as they put their tradition ahead of God’s Law.   Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.   Their actions showed they lacked respect for God and His Word. 

     But this is not the first occasion of God’s people under that Law to show a lack of respect for the Law of God contained in His Word, nor would it be the last.  Even a king, one hand-picked by God made the choice to disregard God’s Commandments.    We know the specific command God gave Saul regarding Amalek is found in 1Samuel 15:3.    Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.  This was very clear.     Then following Saul’s failure to do as God ordered, and admitting to his “sin”, Saul was told of his punishment for his lack of respect for the Word of God in 1Samuel 15:26.   There are always consequences for not having respect to God and His Word.  And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.      Saul, and all of God’s people should be ashamed when they lack respect for the Word of God.   In Psalm 119:6 the Spirit had the sweet singer of Israel pen the Words showing how we need not be ashamed. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

      Just following this, the Spirit had the Psalmist write in Psalm 119:9-16 to give us the formula whereby 1) all can be clean, 2) how diligently we need to seek God and His Word, 3) what we are to do with God’s Word, and 4) what benefit is ours when the Word of God is our delight and joy.    Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. 13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.   If one will do these things, then they are clearly showing respect for the Word of God.

     Following the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, God issued His second written Law to man.   This one is known as the New Testament.   It is so known because the first – Old Testament - written Law of God was fulfilled by Christ.     The Lord Himself stated this in Matthew 5:17-18 in the Sermon on the Mount. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 

      In Hebrews 10:9 the penman of the Hebrews letter was directed by the Spirit to inform the Hebrews Christians not to follow that “fulfilled” O.T. Law, but to continue to have respect to God’s second written Law to man.   Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.   That second Law of God was established that man could have the hope of Salvation.     All who live this side of the cross should be grateful they live in this New Testament age.   Christ made this possible. We are to have respect unto His Law and show it by following His Word. 

    The church at Colossae was told they must “continue in the faith”, which is another way to say they were to “respect” and “do” what was preached by Paul.  That which Paul preached was the Word of God, given him by the Spirit.   If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; (Colossians 1:23)

    Jesus Himself in Luke 6:46 asks a question which is directed to those that did not have respect for the Word of God in Jesus day, as well as now.  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?   All who have respect for the Word of God will do “all” the Lord says to do.  They will not seek another way, as there is but one way.     Jesus told Thomas this in John 14:6.   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   Those who do not respect the Lord and His Word will not do what the Lord says to do.   Won’t you show respect to God and His Word and be obedient to the gospel today?  Failure to do so is to reject God and His plan to save the soul of man.  

             Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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