Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. – Proverbs 13:13-14(ESV)
While there are some exceptions, few people would say they “despise” God’s Word. Most people claim they respect the Bible to some degree. We use the Bible to swear in witnesses in trials. Some courthouses have Bible verses etched in stone on the building. Many people keep it in a prominent place in their homes and would never think to set a cup of coffee on it. They may even diligently carry it to church. Yet in spite of all this alleged respect for God’s Word, I wonder how many people actually “revere” as stated here in proverbs?
Many of us get rather upset when we hear about a plaque with the Ten Commandments getting removed for a public setting or we become insulted when we see video from a faraway country where a copy of the Bible is being burnt. But do we revere the Word in our life? Is it more than just a fancy book in your home?
I think we are facing an epidemic in our churches with drastic consequences. It’s an epidemic of the lack of reverence for His Word. No, I don’t mean the stories of having a courtroom plaque removed, but I do mean the lack of effort His people put into His Word. The lack of effort in trying to make time for reading it, the lack of effort put into studying it and living out the principles in His Word.
Notice I said this epidemic is in our churches. I’m much more concerned with the level of Biblical illiteracy in our churches than I am about the treatment of God’s Word by the world. I expect the world to have a distain for the Bible, but I’m bothered by the level of mediocrity people are comfortable with concerning their own Biblical knowledge.
Here in Proverbs we are given a simple promise, he who fears (or respects) the commandment will be rewarded. It’s a promise from God; the time we spend in His Word is beneficial to us!
I tend to watch quite a bit of sports on television, but it’s not something I can ever be rewarded for! But time I invest in His Word does come back to me as a reward. How does that happen? Well you might find you are more at peace with difficult situations or you may gain some insight on relationships. Actually, the potential for rewards is unlimited.
“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life” as His Word is full of wisdom, encouragement, instruction and it gives us life! Rather than treating His Word as a large paper weight, show some serious respect for His Word. Diligently read it and soon you will be able to see that promise of a reward. His Word is a fountain of life.