PROVERB PRACTICALS Fearing the Lord is Healthy, Proverbs 10:27, audio
Proverbs 10:27, The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
There is a town about 70 miles east of here that is named after a Spanish explorer and the pronunciation of that name in Spanish is Pon ceí de Leon. Ponce de Leůn
Now if you visit that town donít use that Spanish pronunciation for if you do you immediately identify yourself as an outsider and definitely not a local for the locals pronounce their town Ponce de Lee on.
No wimpy foreign pronunciation for those "down to earth" folks!
They are American to the bone and will not twist their mouths to bring forth such sounds as the Spanish language demands.
But their town is named after the Spanish conquistador who led the first expedition to Florida which he named (LAH flow REE dah) La Florida or "place of flowers."
But that discovery is not what has given him fame for he is the man whose explorations included the quest for a fountain with magical powers called the Fountain of Youth.
Legend has it that anyone who drank from the fountain would never grow old.
So the quest for eternal life is something that has been around for a long long time.
This solution of drinking from a fountain in order to never grow old certainly would be an easy thing and a welcome thing to do.
We of course think that quest to stop aging is foolish but the quest continues today through modern medicine as much research is conducted, aimed at the slowing down or completely stopping the aging process.
Man would choose to live eternally in a body of sin but God has a new eternal body planned for his children.
As is the usual case man chooses to ignore Godís plan which is for man once to die but after this the judgement.
But as we see in our proverb for today God does give us a plan for somewhat slowing down the aging process and as usual the plan is simple.
And it consists of 7 words, The fear of the LORD prolongeth days.
It is obvious from these seven words that fearing the Lord is a healthy thing to do for we usually think that a healthy life will generally be a longer life.
We know from Solomonís book of Ecclesiastes that fearing God and keeping His commandments is our whole duty and here we learn that if we perform that duty we will have prolonged days.
Isnít this normal to Godís word for in the keeping of Godís word benefits always flow to the keeper for God does indeed daily load us with benefits.
So from Ecclesiastes we see the connection there is in obeying God and fearing God.
Someone asks you if you fear God.
Donít just automatically say yes, but examine yourself to determine if you obey His commandments for if you do not, you must answer, No, I donít fear God. Its as simple as that!
So the mark of a God fearing person is obedience to Godís commandments.
Fearing God will lead me to obey him and our proverb tells us that that will bring prolonged life.
Isnít this simple principle true in your own home?
In the home, the fear of the Father brings obedience of the children to the commands of the Father.
Now in most cases obeying our father or mother was for our benefit.
Father knew best, mother was to be a help in what father put into place in the family.
But father is not perfect nor is mother perfect.
We are to fear them for they command for our benefit but not perfectly.
But God is perfect, he is the perfect father, he is the perfect mother.
Everything He commands is perfect and will benefit us.
And because of that perfection we are to have a holy awe and reverence of God and His laws which always emanate from his just and loving character.
Now recognizing that character as constant and never changing will lead one to hate and shun everything that can offend such a father and will cause one to move toward a perfect obedience to his commands.
There will be a real fear of offending Him and all actions will be in keeping with his word.
There will be a continual seeking of His approval by the studying of His word in order to conform oneís life to its instruction.
A genuine fear of the Lord brings a dread upon the child of God of offending his Father and also a knowledge that there will be loss not gain.
The child of God has only one desire and that is to please and delight the Father and this pleasing comes about by obedience to the commands of the Father.
The father's law, the father's commandments are designed for the betterment of the son's life, they are designed for continued life on earth and they are designed for eternal life.
The father does not make laws for his son that lessen life, that shorten life, that take life.
The father's laws are not vindictive or grievous.
The father's law, if in the heart, is not a burden, it is not a restraint.
All the father's commands are to promote life.
Even the honoring by the son of father and mother affects the length of his days.
He tells us this in Exodus 20:12, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
This is quite a reward from God is it not?
For God knows that a son who honors his father and his mother in obedience will be in a position of safety and God will be his shield.
Length of life is a promise to those who keep the father's commandments because all commandments and all his judgments are given in behalf of life and promote life.
Some will spend more of those days on earth than others do, but all of the father's sons are promised long life.
What can be longer than eternal life?
We are not to confine ourselves with this life in regard to these proverbs.
We know that as regards this life the wicked may live long and the righteous may die young but all things being equal living by the commandments of God brings longer life.
Therefore the father tells his son that it is valuable to keep his commandments.
There are great benefits as far as life is concerned.
God from the beginning has given His word about this for he told the children of Israel in Deuteronomy to lay up his words in their heart and to teach them to their children that their days and their childrenís days would be multiplied.
We also saw this same message when we studied:
Proverbs 3:1,2, My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Just think about the cautions of your own father that were given to keep you on a safe path.
They were not commands which would encourage you to go in harmís way but to make wise decisions that kept you on a way that led to life.
Children should fear their fathers, their mothers.
They should fear their teachers and others in authority because this kind of fear produces good in their lives.
Fear keeps us from doing things that will cause us harm and instead doing things that will bring good into our lives.
It is a good kind of fear for this kind of fear produces good in our lives
We have examples of good fear in other areas of our life for good fear keeps us safe, keeps us healthy.
We should fear accidents, we should fear damage to our bodies.
So God gives us friendly fear.
Friendly fear causes us to not walk off a cliff to our deaths.
Friendly fear causes us to walk right.
We need this kind of fear.
This is the kind of fear which produces action of our part.
One man has said that fear is a passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil.
God knows that evil is approaching, that we are evil, that evil desires to consume us.
So he tells us to fear him and in fearing him he offers us refuge in himself.
He brings to his child an understanding of the value of life.
Its value is realized in the knowledge and service of God.
It is not to be gambled with in ways of life that are detrimental to life for the body that is given is like any other gift that God entrusts for your stewardship.
Every decision that is made relates to the longevity of life.
Where you go, what you eat, how much you eat, what you do, who you are with when you do it, all have an affect upon your life span.
God brings to His children this knowledge and inherent in this knowledge is long life.
Some sage has said that age is the only thing that comes to us without effort.
This may be true when it comes to the incessant march of time but it is not true when it comes to the effort that must be made in order to obey the commands of God.
God desires for his children a long life and encourages this by giving him his word and the ability to obey his word.
So we have seen that the fear of the Lord prolongs days but what comes about with the absence of fear?
What happens to those who go their own way apart from walking in the way of Godís truth?
Well if the fear of the Lord prolongs days then the lack of fear must shorten days and that is what our proverb concludes.
Proverbs 10:27b, but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
One of the distinguishing marks of the wicked is an absence of the fear of the Lord in their life.
Psalm 36:1 captures this truth, The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
The psalmist observes the sin of the wicked and is amazed that anyone would do such things.
Doesnít the wicked know that God sees him?
Doesnít he know that he will answer for his sin?
As a matter of fact he does not for he has no fear of Him who made him.
It is the fear of God that motivates the heart not to sin.
Conversely the lack of the fear of God encourages sin for that is the nature of the sinner.
The passage in Romans 3:10-18 concludes that there is no fear of God before their eyes.
For Paul has summarized the condition of sinners as unprofitable.
Not one does good.
What comes out of the sinners mouth is fit for the grave, they are full of lies, their lips issue poison, cursing and bitterness.
They run quickly so that they may shed blood and they destroy instead of build.
There is no peace for the wicked for there is no fear of God before their eyes.
This condition of course is totally unhealthy and contributes to the shortening of life.
Godís love is healthy. Godís love promotes long life, for God cares for his children.
As I said previously we have this picture in the home where God has given fathers and mothers who care for their children, creating habits that promote a healthy life style, that promote long life.
Godís word never offers to his children any thing that would harm or destroy but offers only that which helps and builds.
And all this comes from the fear of the Lord.
A fear that produces a desire to please God and that pleasing comes from being an obedient child.
And along with that pleasing. God gives gifts that bring prolonged life.
Our God is totally good!