I love the book of Proverbs, and read it twice over the course of each year in the One Year Bible. When our pastor, Jesse Bradley, made it a challenge to read one full chapter each day during the month of January, I jumped on board. Our congregation is still doing it, not always in January, though I have to say it’s a good way to start the year. July is a good time to do it again. Proverbs is rich with practical wisdom, warnings of what to avoid and how to handle life with all its trials, tribulations, and thrills.
Throughout the month, check my blog and Facebook page often: I’ll be posting thoughts on some verses from Proverbs that are my favorites or that have been most helpful or encouraging. The verse that stands out for me today is basic to the faith walk:
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
We live in a time in our country when everyone is doing what seems right in their own eyes. We don’t want anyone correcting us or telling us how to live. We call this movement “progressive.” In truth, it is repressive (unless, of course, you happen to be in the majority). God is out; self is in. Self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-actualization, self-determination. We don’t want anyone on the throne except SELF.
Our government is increasingly active in keeping God out of schools, public forums and spaces. The definition of “church and state” continues to expand. Institutions of higher education are no longer places of learning and exploration of ideas, but campuses of liberal privilege and proselytizing. Intellectual diversity is gone, the search for truth nowhere in the curriculum, the scientific method ignored. (In our local university, a comparative religions course had believers of different faiths share their foundational beliefs, but would not allow a Christian to speak for Christianity.)
Who do we blame for these changing times, the rewrite of American history? Lift a hand and point a finger, and the three other fingers are aimed back at us. The sad truth is we the people elect those who represent us. We like people like us. We watch news and television shows that mirror what we embrace. Bottom line: we are all sinners who love sin and follow the sinner who best represents our personal preferences.
Without God, we are a wretched, wavering mass of human beings focused on the god of SELF. We think we are making progress when we get our way, ignoring the fact that what we want may not be what everyone else wants—and usually isn’t.
A wise man builds his house upon bedrock, not shifting sands. Man-made religions, philosophies, and theories come and go, idols crumble and fall, but the Word of God stands forever.
Yes, I fear God. I love Him, too. He sent Jesus to atone for my sins—and sin nature. God has the power of life and death over every soul. When I have questions, as I often do, I go to His Word for answers. All we need to know is in the Book.