Fall in Illinois is beautiful foliage…for the trees are ablaze with red, yellow and orange leaves. Fall is also harvest time for the farmers…bringing in the crops of corn and soybeans out of the fields. As I look at the beauty around me, I can only thank God for His majesty and creative work. And as I stand in awe and reverence of His faithfulness and love for His people, it reminds me it’s this reverence…this fear of the Lord that is crucial in our Christian walk. For it tells us in Isaiah 33:6, “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” Being in awe of God’s creation and thanking Him for it is not groveling at His feet…it’s simply admitting there is Someone a whole lot bigger than me in control!
What does God hate? The short list is right here in this proverb. God tells us over and over again not to have a relationship with any kind of unethical or immoral activity. But our pride and arrogance makes us think we know more than Him, so off we go, dabbling in things that confuse and slowly draw us in. And before you know it, we’re snared by the grip of sin. But even then, our willful and obstinate nature refuses to accept responsibility and turn away from the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. Our corrupt human nature is constantly pulling us away from what is right and good…when God is telling us to shun evil and put away all our wicked ways.
The very source of all truth comes from God. No one teaches or advises Him. He is the Supreme Ruler of both heaven and earth…and He governs justly to all. No one is like our God, not one. And for those who put their trust in Him…there is the promise of eternal life.
We seldom do something for others totally out of unselfish motives…for usually we have some hidden agenda, whether good or bad. We’ll do some kind gesture, with the inner thought of, “what’s in this for me?” Or we’ll go out of our way for someone, hoping others will see our sacrifice and praise us for all our hard work. The Lord knows our thoughts and examines our hearts and will immediately show us when our motivation is wrong. For God can bear witness to what lies within all humans…every self-seeking, egocentric, greedy fiber and part.
We take it for granted that the days…weeks…months…years will pass before us. We just assume that the Seasons will follow each other. But are we just as indifferent about the Lord? Do we just assume that He’s always there…whether we need Him or not. It says in Revelation 15:4, “that all Nations will come and worship before You.” There is coming a day when the whole human race will bow in submission and acknowledgement of the Lord. We will no longer be able to take things for granted, or assume the status quo will continue unheeded…for it will be the dawning of a new day, and we will be forced out of our stupor into the truth of His light.
No matter what, the Lord is there for you. His presence doesn’t hinge on how good you try to be or how many times you read His Word and pray…No, it doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do… God’s always there. Maybe you’ve been abandoned or deserted by someone in the past, so now you feel you can’t trust God. But it’s different with the Lord, for His covenant with you is unbreakable, unchangeable, unshakeable. Realize today…God will never leave or forsake you.
Yielding our will to God is not easy…for compliance never comes without internal struggle. But if we listen to Him…understanding that it’s for our own good that He’s directing us that way…and then obey the message we’ve heard…God will work all things out for our good. Along this same line, Job 36:11 says, “If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.” Simple obedience…sometimes hard to do, but oh so beneficial.
Modern day idols can take the form of many things. They may be people, possessions, locations or life-styles…anything that takes its place above God. Our graven image may be pride and self-importance. Or it may be bowing down to our collection of belongings…those babbles, toys, and things we amass and hoard just to say we have them. Anytime we put or trust and affections in anything other than God we’re headed down the wrong path.
I really hate getting up in the middle of the night and stumbling around in the dark. It can be scary and potentially dangerous. But if I simply first turn on a lamp, it changes everything. My fear of falling or tripping over some unseen thing goes away…for now I can see clearly my path. God’s light…His truth, is like a floodlight to our life’s path…illuminating all the precarious obstacles in front of us, so that we may walk in safety.