Loving the Word – Proverbs 13:1-14

“Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.” (Proverbs 13:13 ESV)

God as a God of holiness will not be trifled with. As a God of grace, none “serve him for nought.” The presumptuous despiser of his word cannot escape. The world before the flood was the object of his long-suffering. “A preacher of righteousness” warned them of their danger. But the despisers provoked their own ruin. (1 Peter 3:20. 2 Peter 2:5.) Pharaoh, often reproved, sometimes half-resolved, yet at length despising the word, was destroyed. (Exodus 5:2; 10:16, 17; 14:28.) Jehoiakim’s daring rebellion met with its righteous recompense. (Jeremiah 36:23-32.) The warnings of Sinai are as a voice of thunder — “If every transgression of the word spoken by angels received its just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, spoken by the Lord? If they escaped not, that refused him that spake on earth; much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh.” (Hebrews 12:25.)

Let God and his word be our fear, not our terror. Faith is the principle of fear, of reverential child-like obedience. Indeed the heart can never be right, till it fears the commandment above every earthly consideration. The slave fears the penalty; the child the commandment. And this he fears more, than if an angel from heaven were standing in his way with a flaming sword. He fears the father, not the Judge. Here is no bondage, no legality. It brings its own reward. The “heart that stands in awe of God’s word,” rejoices in it, “and is largely enriched with its spoil.” (Psalm 119:161, 162.) Here too is sunshine in the special favor of God — “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite heart, and that trembleth at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2. Compare Ezra 10:3.) – Charles Bridges

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