The Trembling Heart  by Christopher Shennan

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But to this one I will look,

To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.  (Isaiah 66:2b – NASB)

I read of a Scottish preacher during the Reformation period of the church who was about to be burned at the stake for his Biblical preaching.

Asked if he wanted to say a final word before the flame was lighted, he declared,“I stand here ready to give my life for Christ with far less fear than ever I had when mounting the pulpit to declare the Word of God.”

What was he saying? Was he being flippant in the face of death? Was his declaration an act of bravado denying he felt any fear at all?

No. He admitted to some fear of death; he just wanted his hearers to know he had a fear that was greater than the fear of death. He trembled at the possibility he may have taken God’s Word lightly, or that he had not treated it with the respect it deserved. He did not want to offend God by adding or taking away from it, or in misinterpreting it. He held it in such high regard as the message of a loving God to lost sinners, he was afraid to misrepresent it – a fear that overshadowed any fear of death he might have been feeling.

Would that more modern preachers approached God’s Word, the Bible, in that way. Would that the lukewarm climate of the present-day church would be invaded with this kind of Godly fear. We may yet see a revival before the awesome coming of our Lord.

The Trembling Heart


“But to this one I will look,

To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.  (Isaiah 66:2b – NASB)

Give me a heart that trembles

At the entrance of Thy Word;

Give me a life that follows

At the slightest whisper heard.

If there’s a doubt in reading

What the meaning of it is,

Give me the lips for pleading

To know what the answer is.

Give me a mind anointed;

Give me a heart on fire.

Give me the Spirit’s wooing

To keep my feet from mire.

Sometimes a fond persuasion

Takes root in the human mind;

If it differs from Thy thinking’

Grant that I be not blind.

Oh for a heart that trembles’

Oh for a heart that finds,

That the simplest word God’s spoken

Is above mere human minds.

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Christopher Shennan

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