I’ve currently got a stinking cold and I’ve lost a day lead so I’m only one day ahead. I didn’t get to write this one up before today so I’ve got up early, head aching and nose dripping, in order to get it done. I’m hoping to do a bit of catching up today.
- Proverbs 1:20 – 33
- Matthew 10:1 – 31
- Genesis 25 & 26
In Proverbs, it tells us to accept wisdom before it’s too late. There are people that get disaster packs ready in advance in case some calamity befalls on their country, full aware that if disaster does strike, they would not be able to collect together the needed resources in the chaos. Although the passage seems a bit cruel, it works on the same idea. You need to find wisdom and become wise before you need to use such wisdom. You can’t suddenly hope that you will have the answers when problems that require a wise response crop up. It’ll be like turning up to a race having done no preparation and hoping you have the strength to complete it.
Not pursuing the wisdom of God and not fearing the Lord is “complacency”. It shows a disregard for and lack of understanding of our need of God. However, those who listen “will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm”.
The Matthew passage has quite a few warnings in it too. It tells us to be on our guard, as followers will be hated because of Jesus. But we are not to be afraid of death; but we are to have a fear of the Lord. However, God cares for us so this is another reason not to fear. There is a balance to be struck.
I’m pretty sure that teaching about fearing God has gone out the window. Worship songs, sermons and books all focus in the loving, softer God. He is that, but he is clearly also to be afraid. We often think the “fear” is reserved for Old Testament and we’ve moved on. However, it’s an idea that is obviously a part of the New Testament teachings as well.
I love the conversation in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe between the children and Mr Beaver about Aslan.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr Beaver sternly. Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great emperor-beyond-the-sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great lion.”CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe (Penguin, 1950)
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake” said Mrs Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
We should appear before God with an awareness that no, he isn’t safe, but yes, he is good. However, I often feel we fall into the “else just silly” camp.
Genesis 26 shows the benefits of walking with the Lord. You get given instruction but also others see that you are blessed and treat you accordingly.