Knowledge.

Christianity, Religion

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7.

We live in a world where each passing day brings us some new scientific or technological breakthrough that, supposedly, allows humans to better understand how the world works. Just take a moment to consider all the great breakthroughs that occurred in the last 100 years, or even in the last 50 or 20 years. We have learned how to cure diseases, how to travel vast distances, as well as how to explain the inner workings of many of the forces of nature. All the while, we have also learned how to better exploit our fellow man, how to better damage the Earth, and how to kill one another more efficiently. So a simple question must be asked: Have all these breakthroughs and discoveries made us wiser? Do we possess more knowledge today than humanity did in the past?

The answer, simply put, is no. Though we can accomplish more monumental tasks, and we think we have progressed more than our predecessors, the same will be said of those who come after we are long gone. The knowledge we think we possess today may very well be disproved tomorrow.

There is, however, a knowledge and wisdom that lasts; one that will never be disproved– the wisdom that comes from God. Solomon, who is remembered as being the wisest man to ever live, and the writer of Proverbs, encourages us to seek after that wisdom. There is only one way to begin seeking it–by fearing God. Here, the word “fear” doesn’t mean to be scared of God, or to be afraid of Him; rather it means to be in awe of Him, and to take Him seriously. Only when we begin to take God seriously can we pursue the vast wisdom that He possesses.

What about those who do not fear God? Quite frankly, according to Solomon, they are fools. He says that “fools despise wisdom and instruction,” and those are two things that God provides for humanity. A person who has no care to take God seriously certainly will not have any regard for the wisdom and instruction He has to offer. How foolish it is for a person to not take God, the Master of the universe, seriously. It does not matter how many credentials or letters a person has after their name, what matters is how much a person fears God. The smartest person in the world can still be a fool for not taking God seriously.

We must allow ourselves to be overcome with fear for God. We must allow the awe of his power and majesty to overtake us. We must continually seek after Him and His will. We must take God seriously. If we do this, we will be granted wisdom that will never fail us; wisdom that the world has nothing to compare to.

Speak Up.

Christianity, Religion

“Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed. Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9.

These words were spoken to King Lemuel by his mother. Though scholars are not exactly sure who King Lemuel was, one thing they are sure of is this– he is the embodiment of what a Godly king should be. In fact, his name, Lemuel, literally means “consecrated to God.” A righteous ruler is to be just that, consecrated to God, and seeking to rule in accordance with His law.

God is not a fan of oppression or injustice. He is a just God and He rules with love, not through fear like a tyrant. God is here communicating to Lemuel that he should be the same; that he must take care of those who have no friends, who have no means, and who have no voice. Repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, we see where God takes special care of widows and orphans–two groups of people who were at the absolute bottom of society at that time. In the New Testament, we see Christ following this same pattern; throughout His entire ministry, Christ befriended people possessed with demons, whores, lepers, tax collectors, Gentiles, and sinners of all sorts who were neglected and mistreated by mainstream society. He ministered to them, and He cared for them. Wherever there were outcasts, Christ was there.

Many people today forget that the call to follow Christ is also a call to pursue social justice. Injustice and oppression are rampant in the world today, we need only to turn on the news to be made aware of that. The horrors of such evil did not end with the defeat of Nazi-ism in the 1940s or other similar tyrannical groups. There is still much oppression to be found in the world, and here in our own backyards. Many people will turn on their televisions and see horrific images and hear about tragedies from all around the world and they may ask, “Where is God? Why hasn’t He done something?” The more important question is, “Where are God’s people? Why aren’t they doing something?”

We are charged to speak up for the oppressed and the abused, just as King Lemuel was. Christ expects this of us if we desire to be His followers. It is our God-given duty to the rest of humanity. If we, as the people of God, do not speak up against the oppression, injustice, and evil in the world, then who will? If not us, then who?