The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, but the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
The potluck dinner… what Baptist church could even be considered Baptist if its children didn’t grow up eating food prepared by complete strangers at least once a week? It was Wednesday night about an hour before youth group would start. Matt, my best friend, and I were being our usual showboats to the dismay of our parents. For reasons I’ll never know Matt had a pile of big green peas sitting on one corner of his plate. He would pick one up with his spoon, hold it about an inch away from his mouth, and suddenly suck with all of his might. Amazingly, the pea would be vacuumed off of the spoon, fly through the air, and hit the back of his throat with outstanding force. Quite impressive to me, but “unnecessary” to his mother. She instructed him to eat his peas correctly before he choked to death. Although death was never an honest a fear, the choking became pretty intense after he sucked one more down just to prove her wrong.
While the memory of Matt choking on a pea may now provide for a great story, the truth is timeless. Those who generally approach life with a sense of obedience will be rewarded for doing so, but the disobedient will often have to learn the hard way. I am reminded of the times that I thought I could get away with being disobedient because my parents were not around to enforce their rules. Strangely enough, their presence never really had any bearing on whether or not I learned the hard way. As I look back on my teenage years, I realize that the rules I had been given were not so much to control me as they were to protect me. Now older and somewhat more mature, I am learning the importance of applying this knowledge to what Scripture has commanded me.
I wonder how you look at the Word of God? Do you resent it as a book of rules and regulations placed inconveniently into your life as a means of control? Or have you been able to step back and look at it for what it really is? I am grateful for my parents’ rules now that I understand they existed for my protection. In the same manner, I am also able to understand that God’s Word is not a book centered on rules and regulations but on hopes and promises. When Jesus commanded us to love our enemies, it wasn’t because He simply enjoyed telling us what to do, but because He could promise peace and joy to those who followed His instruction. This is why King Solomon wrote, “The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, but the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.” If this statement is true with man’s word and instruction, how much greater must the words and commandments of God be?
I pray that your day would not be spent in resentment to the Word of God, but rather in the hopes of what it promises.