Thursday, August 2, 2012

Proverbs 24: 21-22 God used a headline

21 Fear the Lord and the king, my son,
    and do not join with rebellious officials,
22 for those two will send sudden destruction on them,
    and who knows what calamities they can bring?

I was studying this section and consulted Matthew Henry's commentary, and Gill's Exposition. Both men extracted from these verses a lesson from a political perspective -- disloyalty, treason, and betrayal were some issues that they kicked around.  I hope I am not going down a wrong pathway here, but I feel the contrast here is for our lives --- if we fear (reverence) the Lord, and fear (obey) the king (the law of our land) then we will not experience the sudden destruction that can be a consequence . . .

Let me explain what I mean.

For about ten days now, the headlines on sports pages, web sites and newspapers have been proclaiming the penalties that were assessed on a northeastern university football program for their covering up the heinous acts of one of their coaches. As some would say, I don't have a pony in the race --- I'm not a fan nor an enemy of the university.  We can all agree that the crimes were horrible, and needed to be exposed and punished. We can also agree that it is wrong to cover up crimes and allow more to be committed.
Where people start to disagree, though, is on the punishment meted out to the school: no post-season bowl games for four years, a hefty fine to pay, etc., etc.  I've heard some that lament the effects that this will have on the players who are currently on campus, and who had nothing to do with the cover up.
Here is the point, though. Everyone makes decisions each and every day of our respective lives. Those decisions have consequences -- we've talked about that before. It is both a matter of common sense, and a Biblical principle, that those consequences don't necessarily stop with us.
Those consequences can impact the lives of those who come after us.  Big time.

I was reminded of this as I studied these verses. Sudden destruction can come --- sudden exposure and the resulting consequences . . . if we don't have a reverence for God's Word, and for the law of the land, too.  Reverence for His Word would have engendered a decency and a morality that said, "This must be stopped."  And a respect for the law would have sparked a response of, "This must be not only stopped, but punished." Instead, the destruction that Solomon mentions in verse 22 has come.
We can apply this to our own lives, too. Our reverence for our Lord will cause us to confess our shortcomings --  
 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
And our respect for law  will cause us to strive to be good citizens --
 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  (Romans 13:3)
Do we reverence the Lord, and respect the king?


Belinda said...

It's sad to think that innocent people are having to feel the punishment for something they had nothing to do with. But there have always been innocent bystanders all though out the Bible.

This is a good lesson about our sin only hurting us, no matter what we think, it does hurt others as well!

(When I first started reading, I thought you were going into the Chick-Fil-A story and the "rebellious official" so recently in the news. ;)

Carrie P. said...

When I think about incidents like that I know that the sins will always be found out. The word tells us that. We can not hide from Him.
I sometimes get afraid for our country because we do not reverence God as a nation.