God wants each of us to draw near to Him and He gives us instructions on how to do so. Those who listen are blessed, those who don’t miss out completely.
I’m still on my own with choosing how to breakdown the proverbs we are provided with. I’m trying to group like ones together. This group starts and ends with instructions. Let’s see what the Spirit would show us from them today.
We know without even reading very far who will be the one seeking instruction. It is the righteous. Those who have learned the value of His word. It is also the one who is in great need. The one who is in distress and has at least heard of the salvation of the Lord.
God created us all with a longing for a relationship with Him. Many try and fill that spot with other things but you can bet that when they are down to their last hope, that hope will be God. I’m reminded of the joke about the atheist and the bear.
The atheist cries out for God to help him. God responds with, “You denied me all this time and taught others to do the same. Why should I save you now?” The atheist replies, “Then can you at least make the bear a Christian?” The next thing heard is the bear, “Bless this meal I’m about to receive.”
Even though he claimed there was no God and taught others the same, he KNEW in his heart that he was wrong. He knew where to turn in times of great trouble. But often at that point it may be too late.
I don’t believe God ever ignores a real call to Him but the “pie crust promises” meant to get His attention and win favor He might just let pass by. He wants a real change in the heart calling out to Him; not just a desperate plea for survival.
With that real change comes learning of Him and of His instructions for our lives. Yes. He has instructions for each of us. If we are wise we WILL listen. They are life to our souls and healing to our bodies. God, through Solomon, says that we “will be rewarded” (verse 13b) when we treasure His instructions. And when we put them into practice the become a fountain of life for us and those around us.
The wise are those who truly listen to the Lord. They teach others of Him and are both blessed by the Lord and gain favor with man. This doesn’t happen when we teach an altered form of His word or one that ‘fits society’ at the time. Some might be happy with the watered down version but it saves NO ONE. God’s sure word is the only thing that brings life.
God states that “a faithful envoy brings healing” (verse 17b). This is the life I was just speaking of. One who will share the truth of God’s word and character. One who is not afraid to offend. But the one who ‘bends the story’ to fit the people will fall into trouble. God will NOT protect them. In fact, He may be the author of their distress. He does this not to be ‘mean’ but to bring them back in line with His truths so they don’t lead even more astray.
When we ‘modify’ the truth or are told to speak to and don’t, the blood of those we were sent to will be on our hands. In the beginning and at the end of God’s call to Ezekiel He had this to say; “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for[d] his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul” (Ezekiel 3:17-19 and 33:7-9).
I believe God holds us as accountable as He held Ezekiel. No. Most of us don’t have the audience that Ezekiel had, but we still have those who He brings across our path for the purpose of sharing His good news. We are responsible for what we share. Be a trustworthy messenger and you save not only your own life but quite possibly the life of another.
“Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instructions” (verse 18a) and “he brings destruction on himself” (verse 13a) for his ways are “treacherous in their ruin” (verse 15b) as he “flaunts his folly” (verse 16c).
“Whoever heeds reproof is honored” (verse 18b) for he “reveres the commandments” (verse 13b). He will be “a fountain of life” (verse 14b) and will “win favor” as he “acts with knowledge” (verse 16b) and “brings healing” (verse 17b) to those he is sent to. And he “will be rewarded” (verse 13c)!
Which description do you want to fall under? Which currently describes your life? What plans do you have to change or improve your current state? Is the Spirit calling to you, as He is to me, to get in line more fully with His words? No more fear of man for what can man do to me? I will speak His truth and what He brings to me, no matter what others may think of me.
Father God, forgive me for being afraid to share ALL Your truths. I have let society color how I share Your word at times. I don’t want this to happen ANY MORE. I want to be a light in the darkness for those who are searching. Help me also to always speak with love. Love sometimes has to say hard things. Give me Your words in those hard places. Let me be a blessing and a source that points only to You.