Fearing or Despising

Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

Proverbs 13:13

This is a fairly straightforward verse that, at first glance, doesn’t require much thought.  But there are two words in the verse that are best not skimmed over: “despiseth” and “feareth”.  Despising and fearing are both inward emotions.  But inward emotions result in outward actions.

“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed”.  How do we despise God’s Word?  As Christians, we would never actually come out and declare that we despise the Word of God.  In fact, we wouldn’t even let that thought run though our minds.  But how often do we ignore it?  How often do we not obey it?  Those questions are a little more difficult.  We can indeed despise God’s Word very easily if we aren’t careful.

“He that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded”.  Again, as Christians, I’m sure we would all say that we fear the Lord.  But a true fear produces actions.  If we really read and study His Word and have a fear of His commandments, there are things that we will do and things we won’t do.  That fear will produce actions. 

I fear snakes.  This fear, rational or not, produces action whenever I see one of them.  I don’t ignore snakes, nor do I play around with them.  When I see one, I either run away from the snake or I kill the snake.  True fear is always going to produce some form of action.  When we truly fear the Lord’s commandments, we are going to do our best to follow them and obey them. 

Of course, this verse also gives the results of the two courses of action: be destroyed or be rewarded.  The end result is dependent on the course of action taken.  If you want to be destroyed, despise His Word.  If you want to be rewarded, fear His commandments!

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