Archive for May 21st, 2019

Proverbs 29:25-27

In Proverbs 29:25-27 Solomon reminds us that fear is real bondage. It brings a snare that traps us. Many people are of good heart but not enough courage so they live in bondage to the fear of man. They worry far too much about what people think, instead of first being concerned about what God and wisdom say, and what integrity would lead them to do. This is a snare that traps many people. Rather than living for an audience of One, they are focused on what the world around them thinks and says. We can’t live being anxious about not offending another person. Living in the fear of man can even lead us to deny God in extreme situations.

Just think about Saul, Aaron and Peter who are examples of men who were stained by the fear of man. “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”  The contrast to the fear of man is he who trusts in the LORD. That person will be in the safest place imaginable – safe in the care of a loving, powerful God. Spurgeon wrote “The man who is trusting in the blood and righteousness of Jesus may not always be happy, but he is safe; he may not always be singing, but he is safe; he may not always have the joy of full assurance, but he is safe. He may sometimes be distressed, but, he is always safe; he may sometimes question his interest in Christ, but he is always safe.”

Solomon then reminds us that people try to leverage position, possession and power for their own gain. This is presented as a simple fact. There are many who long for the benefit that a ruler may give them. This relates to the fear of man mentioned in the previous verse; those who depend on the ruler’s favor for their security and prosperity must fear and seek the ruler’s favor. “Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.” But any security they find will not last.  It is only through God that such justice can come. Even the mightiest ruler does not hold a candle compared to God.

How we choose to live does matter.  God is paying attention. An unjust man does not please those among God’s righteous. They share God’s regard of the wicked, seeing them as an abomination for their sins against God and man. “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.” It works both ways. The upright man or woman is seen as an abomination to the wicked. Their righteous life is an unwelcome rebuke to the wicked. Good and evil cannot co-exist. They are mutually exclusive and you must choose which you will follow.

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