Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Devotions: the Blessings of Fear

How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Proverbs 28:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

This proverb contrasts two kinds of people: the man who fears and the man who has a hard heart, the man who is blessed and the one who falls into calamity. This fear refers to a reverent awe of God, and it must be continual. The hard heart refers to those who are unrepentant, who test or question God as the Israelites did during the exodus. This hardness of heart is not a lack of emotion, but rebellion against God, stubbornly refusing to turn from sin and listen to God as Pharaoh did during the plagues. We have a choice; we can submit to God, surrendering ourselves to His Lordship and leadership, or we can go our own way and refuse to obey Him. The first choice results in blessing but requires humility, the second choice allows pride and self to rule but results in disaster. The second choice doesn’t always look like blatant rebellion either. It can be subtle, simply choosing to not obey. Rebellion against God requires nothing more than doing things our way instead of His. We don’t have to fight Christianity to gain that title. We can be “good” Christians who go to church and bible study regularly and yet do what we know the Bible says we shouldn’t. It is proof of a lack of fear. If we truly revered God, we would do everything He said without hesitation. That is the basis of reverence, respecting, admiring, venerating to the point that He is the highest of all. If we do that, then we will naturally obey not only out of respect but because we believe that His way is best. Our lack of obedience shows our lack of allegiance, and that will end in catastrophe. Sin always does. We can choose humility, reverence and blessing, or pride, rebellion and disaster. Which will you choose?

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