“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”
Proverbs 13:13 (KJV)
How are you today? Last week I pondered the words in Psalms 119:127 and how the psalmist cherished God’s Word more than the finest gold. You can read it here. Proverbs 13:13 is similar to Psalms 119:127 in that it too shows that we are to cherish God’s Word and commandments.
Let’s look at the first part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV). It says, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed.” What does the “destroyed” mean? To tell you the truth, I am not sure I want to find out. However, if we truly think of God as our Heavenly Father, we know that like any good parent, He only wants what is best for us. His Word will lead us to this goodness. “Destroyed” could be hardship in this life, as in if we don’t follow God’s Word and kill someone we could be sent to jail or even sentenced to death. I would guess that would be a way of being destroyed. Or, maybe we don’t follow God’s Word and we don’t trust Him, so we worry ourselves to death. That could be a way of being destroyed.
While these extreme examples of how not listening to God and how they can destroy us in this life, the worst way it can destroy us is in eternal life, or shall I say eternal death. It may be difficult to deal with the consequences of not following God’s Word in this life, I can’t imagine suffering the consequences in the eternity. I don’t want to be destroyed in this life or in eternity. Do you?
Now that we know we don’t want to be destroyed, let’s look at the second part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV), “but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” It might be nice to know that the word “commandment” here doesn’t just refer to what we call the “Ten Commandments”, but to God’s Word and commands or will for us in general. I believe it means not only what God commands us in scripture, but also through prayer. What about you?
Another word to look at in the second part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV) is the word “feareth”. What does “feareth the commandment” mean to you? Usually, when I think about “fear” I think about being so afraid of something that I don’t want to be near it. I want to turn and run away from something that I fear. (Insert a picture of a snake chasing me as I think, “feet don’t fail me now.”) However, this isn’t the meaning here. After all, God wants us close to Him and not far from Him. God wants us to cherish His word, to know it, read it, listen to it, and love it always. God doesn’t want us to run away from His Word.
This kind of fear is more of a reverence and respect. It is a fear of going against it, because of the terrible consequences, such as destruction and eternal death. It is like an extreme desire of wanting to do the right thing, to not disappoint God, and to follow His will, not only because we don’t want the consequences of doing something wrong, but also because we love Him and we know He loves us.
I like the last part of Proverbs 13:13 the most. I like the part about …”he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded”. I like the idea of being close to God throughout eternity. That is the ultimate reward for those who follow His Word. It is also another great reason to read the Bible. If we don’t know God’s Word, it is difficult to fear or follow it.
Two posts in a row about cherishing and following God’s Word. Can you tell that I am encouraging you to read scripture for yourself and follow God’s will for you? Like I said before, I am finding that the more I read God’s Word, the more I do cherish it.
Thank you for being our Father in Heaven. Thank you for you holy Word and for giving us a path to you. Help us to read and follow your Word as a way of life, this life and eternal life with you. Help us to take in, understand, and cherish your Word. Help us to be closer to you, now and in eternity. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 13:13 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 13:13 mean to me?
*What does “despiseth” mean to me?
*What does “destroyed” mean to me?
*Do I despise God’s Word?
*Do I cherish God’s Word?
*How do my actions show what I think of God’s Word?
*What does “feareth the commandment” mean to me?
*Do I fear the commandment of God? How do I show it?
*What does “shall be rewarded” mean to me?
*How can I better live according to the words in Proverbs 13:13?
Now, it is your turn.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.