“Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, just as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the LORD.”
You know, as a child the idea of showing reverence is a foreign concept. Do you bow down to someone or something? Are you a slave to them? Just what does it mean? Kids have no clue, but neither do adults, really. We think we do, but we don’t show it. Speaking in King James English does not make you reverent.
The governor, the high priest and the remnant of people finally obeyed the Lord, which led to repentance and the show of reverence. The Hebrew word for “reverence” means to fear or be afraid, to fear. In fact, one translation reads “put in fearful reverence.” After all God’s judgment, they were now ready to show Him reverence.
I do not think any of us know how to truly show God the reverence that is due Him. We try but fall short. Listen to how Proverbs 1:7a uses this word. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” That’s pretty good, isn’t it? As believers, our fear of the Lord isn’t a scary thing. It is a reverent thing. We acknowledge Who He is and who we are not.
Next Sunday, when you go to church (you are going, right?), walk into your place of worship with a new attitude – an attitude of reverence. You don’t have to crawl in with your head bowed, but you should walk in knowing that you are going to be entering into a time of worship. Prepare your heart before you arrive. Confess your sins and be prepared to enter the throne room of heaven.
Reverence! Awe! We get to behold the King. We get to come before the Creator of the universe. We are called His children (read 1 John 1:12). We have the right to worship. And we worship with reverence. We worship with appreciation for all He has done for us. I think that is exactly what the people of Israel were feeling in Haggai 1:12.
We bow down. We lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus.