Friday, November 15, 2013


When I graduated from Southern Seminary, I began to receive mail addressed to Rev. Paul Mutscher, and it became much worse when I was called to serve as Pastor of a small church in Western Kentucky.  At first, I took it as a complement, and even developed a little pride in the fact that some seemed to elevate me above the "common layman."  I was now "Clergy!"  But it did not take long for me to recognize my sin, as God showed me, from His Word, the true importance of the word "reverend."

The Bible, if read with sincerity, has a way of humbling the proud.  After reading Psalm 111:1-8, I, being focused upon the glory that belongs to God alone, was suddenly confronted with my sin of pride.   Verse 9 says,  "He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and Reverend is HIS name" (Ps. 111:9).  That meant, at least to me, that for someone to call himself or some other man "reverend," was blasphemy!  It is accepting the praise which belongs to God alone!

The word "reverend," as it is used here (the only time it is translated "reverend" in the entire Bible), is the Hebrew יָרֵא (yare'), which probably should be defined by how the word is translated elsewhere in the Old Testament.  It is translated:  "fear" 188 times; afraid 78 times; "terrible" 23 times; "terrible thing" 6 times; "dreadful" 5 times; "reverence" 3 times; "fearful" 2 times; and "terrible acts" once.  Regardless of how one defines the word, no man comes close to having that much power.  There will come a man who thinks he deserves the fear of man, and his worship, but within three and a half years, he will "meet the only Man worthy of such a response":  Jesus Christ (Rev. 13:1-10; 19:11-21)!  

And while only the name of Jesus is worthy of such reverence, God tells us that there is something greater than His name:  "I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy loving kindness and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name" (Ps. 138:2)!  Even though "...God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name..." (Phil. 2:9-11), and even though only the name of Jesus saves (Acts 4:12), it is the Word and the Spirit which produce saving faith (Rom. 10:17)!
Reserve reverence for the written Word of God, and for the Living Word of God! 

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