Most individuals want to be recognized and rewarded for doing good. Some dedicate their entire lives to work with the sick and oppressed. Others, who are wealthy, establish trusts or foundations, and donate money to what they consider “worthy causes.” Many give generously to charitable organizations that serve the less fortunate or those overwhelmed by a disaster. Everyone seems to have a “touch point” in their heart that will trigger an urge to give or share.
But, there is no guarantee that our giving will bring us a reward, or in fact, benefit others. However, as sure as we are that our God is a faithful God and will keep His Word, Solomon, on behalf of God promises us that “Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” Certainly, this verse will get the attention of “reward” seekers!
Yet, “seeking” a reward for the sake of a reward is not what this verse is all about. Notice the first word - “humility” is followed by the familiar theme throughout Proverbs: “and fear of the Lord.” One can be humble and not fear the Lord. Humility without fearing the Lord is self-serving and an end in itself. To be humble because we “fear the Lord” is rather different. This “fear” grows in the heart of a believer because God is recognized as being sovereign and worthy of worship and reverence, honor and praise. Its understanding fear through the lens of “awe and respect.”
Perhaps it is difficult to understand that “humility and fear of the Lord” will bring us “wealth and honor and life.” So, can we really expect them as rewards? If we view God as He is and ourselves as we are, we have God’s guarantee that He will bless us materially, socially and personally. How can this be? The “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!” Have you tried it?
Prayer: It’s easy, Lord, to live life with grand schemes and false motives. Cleanse us from vanity and fill us with humility. Though we fear You, we know we need not be afraid of You. Amen!
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 22:4 Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.