Daily Readings & Thought for April 3rd. “WHOEVER DESPISES THE WORD”
The proverbs of Solomon make many points for us to meditate upon – vital principles for daily living. It is good to take them individually and reflect carefully on how many of them apply to daily living in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Chapter 13 today at v.13 says, “Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.”
How true that is – but in an increasing number of ways and places today the word of God is ignored as being of no account. In others the ‘knowing’ of God’s word is left to a select few – ‘elders’ they might be called – and the danger is that they selectively apply them according to their own interpretation; evidence of this is seen in those who opposed our Lord.
There is danger when believers become followers of individuals instead of adequately reverencing God’s word and making that word part of their thinking. Paul lamented to the Corinthians, “each one of you says, ‘I follow Paul’ or ‘I follow Cephas,’ or ‘I follow Apollos, … Is Christ divided?” [1 Cor. 1 v.12]
Solomon writes, “In everything the prudent act with knowledge” [v.16] and God’s word is the source of that knowledge. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”[v.20]
Our world is out of balance, so few are now wise in the principles God’s word sets before us. “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him (or her) is diligent to discipline him.” [v.24] Many parts of the world now spurn any physical discipline. It is true that in the days of old it was sometimes done far too much. Solomon later writes, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” [22 v.6]
When we come to Ephesians 6 on Sunday we will read, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” [v.4] When this is done there will be no need for any rod – but spiritual joy in having our children as fellow believers and followers of the Lord.
Returning to our Proverbs chapter, if we can truly develop both a love and an awe of God we will see ever more clearly that his word is a “tree of life” [v.12] and the time will come when Christ will say “to the one who conquers … eat of the tree of life., which is in the paradise of God.” [Rev. 2 v.7] But “whoever despises the word …”