10/12/2010

Godliness Gives Stability and Vitality (Proverbs 14:26,27)

14:26,27 "The fear of the Lord" (26,27) and one who "fears the Lord" (2) is not the dread and terror of God, but a proper respect and reverence, resulting in a right relationship with God. Godliness (the fear of the Lord) protects the soul by its solidity (26) and its vitality (27), giving confidence, like one in an impenetrable fortress (26), and a richness and an abundance of life (27). Evil not only attacks but attracts, so the man of God must know something stronger and better. When godly parents live in the fear of God (again, not the dread of God, but a loving right relationship with God), they bless their children (26b) more than all of Dr. Phil's "good advice" ever can.

14:4 Neat But Negative: I had not stopped to think what this meant, just skimming past with a blank mind! Orderliness can reach the point of sterility. When there is no oxen the farmer doesn't have to clean the barn. But oxen, being much stronger than a man, can produce an abundant harvest, bringing much benefit to the farmer. So it may be necessary to accept upheaval, and a big mess to clear up, as the price of growth. An empty stable may be clean (requiring no unpleasant work), but it won't produce an abundance.

14:10 The 2 extremes of emotion: bitterness and joy can sometimes only be known and experienced peronally and privately between oneself and God. On occasion, perhaps a trusted friend and confidant may share the depth of his inmost heart.