Proverbs 1:29-31 Since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord,
since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
The Bible makes it very clear in countless places that we bring trouble on ourselves by our actions. Romans 6:23 is justly famous: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” However, this passage fleshes that out a little bit. Frankly, reading this brings to mind the gang culture in the US right now. That “gangsta” would be a style anyone would want to emulate is beyond me! Not long ago a young boy was killed by police in a tragic incident because he was emulating a “gang banger” with a very realistic toy pistol, waving it around like he was going to shoot someone or something. That is tragic indeed, and the culture that produced it is clearly a work of the devil. Wisdom is in all-too-short supply! All such foolishness originates with the choice mentioned here: not to fear the Lord. Proverbs 9:10 hits the nail on the head: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” When we choose not to fear God, all sorts of stupidity follows.
I was raised to fear God, but as I’ve written recently, I didn’t learn that lesson terribly well. I now realize that I have no one but myself to blame for various problems I experienced, but it breaks my heart that society today teaches people to blame anyone but themselves for their problems. That is denying the truth in this passage, that we all “eat the fruit” of our actions. I deal with people all the time who can’t seem to get that through their heads, and they suffer for it greatly. I am not to look down on them but remember that it is only by the grace of God that I am not currently in their place. I am to keep speaking the truth in love, praying for their eyes to be opened, but not yielding to their delusions. If God’s grace was sufficient for me, it is sufficient for them as well.
Father, thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for yesterday and all it held. Thank You for the young people who were in the service because of being home for the holiday, reminding me of the impact I have had on their lives. Thank You for the wake of the dear friend last night, reminding me that You can bring people into Your family even in old age. I pray that I would indeed not grow weary in doing well, (Galatians 6:9) but allow Your Spirit to carry me along and operate through me, working Your works on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!