Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 62, Reaping What We Sow

Solomon speaks about the fear of the king, then he moves on into the foolishness of quarreling, then he points out that we reap what we sow.

"A king's wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion; those who anger him forfeit their lives." (Proverbs 20:2) Solomon had absolute power over his subjects, which means he also had the power of life and death over anyone accused in his courtroom of wrongdoing. I know I would have trembled in fear if Solomon had frowned on me, and yet knowing he had this power doesn't seem to have dissuaded some from doing wrong, anymore than our modern laws and penalties seem to dissuade some from doing wrong. The one who doesn't respect human authority is going to have a tough time respecting God's authority, even though His wrath is thousands of times more fearsome. No wonder the Bible tells us to "be subject to the governing authorities", for if we can't obey those in charge over us on earth, how shall we obey the One in heaven who is in charge over all things? (Romans 13:1)

"It is to one's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel." (Proverbs 20:3) The Apostle Paul urged his young convert Timothy not to get embroiled in arguments. This is unseemly behavior for the Christian. "Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." (2 Timothy 2:23-26) It harms our testimony when we scream and yell and behave just like unbelievers. Losing our dignity does not help the cause of Christ and it will not attract anyone to Him. It's going to be difficult to talk today about the joy we have in the Lord if our listeners saw us quarreling angrily yesterday. Jesus never sank down to the level of His enemies. He retained His dignity and honor even while facing opposition. If we are going to have any influence at all on unbelievers, we are going to have to approach them with the same loving heart that Jesus had. Arguing and losing our temper will do nothing but push them away.

"Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look and find nothing." (Proverbs 20:4) This verse has a very practical application. The one who does not plant cannot possibly reap. He won't have any food to put away for the hard times of winter. But I think this verse has a spiritual application as well. If we don't sow good godly seed in our lives, we can't reap a harvest of peace and righteousness. If we don't study the word of God, it can't comfort us when hard times come. If we don't build a relationship with God, we won't feel the peace of His presence when we need it most. If we never spend any time in prayer when times are good, how will we have the boldness to come to the throne of grace when times are bad? The Apostle Paul gives us some vital advice when he says, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." (Galatians 6:7-8)

We can't spend our lives ignoring God and then blame Him for not being there when we need Him. We can't live according to the desires of the flesh and hope to feel close to our Maker. He invites us to a higher calling. He invites us into His very presence, into the throne room of heaven, to present our requests before Him with reverence and thanksgiving. Human relationships are built day by day, year after year, and our relationship with God is the same. The Creator of all things wants friendship with us! Such a thing is more awesome than my mind can fathom! Let's not turn down such an invitation as this!

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