Trembling At His Word

“Then whoever feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses,”

Exodus 9:20

God had given a word of judgement. He had promised that hail would fall on the land of Egypt. He had already proved that He meant business and that His word was no idle word. God was showing Himself to be the one true God. Pharaoh hardened his heart over and over again. But Pharaoh wasn’t the only one hearing God’s word through Moses. There were others in Pharaoh’s court who heard, and they trembled.

Pharaoh’s servants “feared the word of the LORD,” and it made all the difference. They trembled at God’s word and they acted. Ezra noted the same thing. When unfaithfulness was found in Israel, Ezra sat appalled with his beard and garment torn. “Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice” (Ezra 9:4). There was a trembling of the word of God that caused the people to pay attention and turn from sin. And we see this trembling at the word of God with Moses, and Isaiah, and godly kings like David and Hezekiah. I want to tremble at the word of God.

Trembling at His word communicates that I believe Him when He speaks. It causes me to act according to His word. Like Pharaoh’s slaves, when God warns of judgement, I believe Him. And when He promises mercy and forgiveness, I believe Him, and I put my trust exactly where He says. I want to tremble at God’s word like Ezra and the Israelites. They weren’t perfect, but those who trembled at God’s word were repentant. I want to tremble at His standards and repent when I see that I am not living up to those standards. Moses trembled and “quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped” (Ex 34:8). Isaiah trembled and confessed his sin before the Holy, Holy, Holy One (Isa 6:5). I want to be someone who trembles at God’s word and worships in holiness.

And as we tremble at His word, we don’t need to think that this will create a space between us and God. Rather, when we tremble at God’s word, we are pushed further from danger and moved closer to Him. He tells us of judgement, and trembling we come to Him for mercy. He tells us of salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son, and we draw near through faith. And not only do we draw near to Him through trembling at His word, but He draws near to us. Hear His comforting words: “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (Isa 66:2). Praise the Lord that the High and Holy One locks His gaze on the humble, the contrite, and those who tremble at His word.

So let us tremble at His word. Let’s believe Him when He speaks. Let us believe what He says about sin and judgement, and let us repent. Let us tremble when He speaks about salvation. Let it drive us to the cross. Let it cause us to worship. How desirable is it to have the Lord of glory look on us with favor? Then let us be humble, contrite, and tremble at His word.

© Jacob Crouch 2023

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