A Closer Walk
Happy New Year! We did it! We really did it. We made it all the way through 2020. It is now 2021 and 2020 is over and done with. Praise the Lord! It's been an eventful year. Unlike anything our country has experienced since 1918, which was the beginning of the Spanish flu epidemic. A look at gravestones in almost any cemetery will show numerous deaths in 1918, 1919, and 1920. So hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, 2020 is over with.
Now what do we do with 2021? Many people choose to make New Year's resolutions. Exercise more, lose weight, etc. Ever successfully completed one of those by carrying it through the entire year? If you have you might give the folks at Guinness World Records a call. They would probably enjoy hearing from you. Regardless, in the words of that great American philosopher Bob Hope, “But seriously folks.”
What could we do this year that would be helpful to us and to our community? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” Proverbs 9:10 NASB. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Not the end of wisdom or even the middle of wisdom, but the beginning of wisdom. And isn't a new year a good place to start with the beginning of wisdom?
By fearing the Lord we start down the path of wisdom. And we will continue to pick up bits of wisdom here and there. In addition, as we continue down the path of wisdom we gain knowledge of the Holy One. And the Bible tells us that knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. By fearing the Lord we gain for ourselves wisdom and understanding. Aren't both of those things highly desirable characteristics? Likely all of us would find these are worthwhile traits to have.
Further, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever,” Psalm 111:10 NASB. A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. Do we have good understanding because we do His commandments? Or do we obey His commandments because we have a good understanding?
Fear can be a forceful motivator. But reverence and awe can also motivate us to follow our God's commandments. Not because of fear of punishment, but out of love and respect for the Holy One, our Father in Heaven. That is why we may choose to say, “Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name...,” Matthew 6:9 KJV.
We fear Him because He is God. “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God...,” Isaiah 45:5 NASB. He is God. And He alone. There is no other. But we also love Him, and revere Him, and worship Him, and praise Him. Because of this we desire to follow His commandments, His precepts, and His ordinances. “Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him,” 2 Corinthians 5:9 NASB. And desiring to please Him, following His commandments is not burdensome for us. So the fear of the Lord is only the beginning of wisdom. And hey, it's the new year. We gotta start somewhere, right?
“To God be the glory, great things He hath done: So loved He the world that He gave us His son, Who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the lifegate that all may go in. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice! O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son, and give Him the glory, great things He hath done,” words Fanny J. Crosby, music by William H. Doane; published 1875.