Good sailors fear the Lord. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). How can we get wisdom? If we search for it as for a treasure chest, we will understand the fear of the Lord. Along with it comes the knowledge of God.
The “fear of the Lord” occurs often in the book of Proverbs. What does this term mean? It refers to a holy awe flowing from a godly character. Such a one loves God and shuns anything that offends the holy God. She aims at perfect obedience. While she may have perfect goals, she is not perfect. But she strives for it in this life.
This delivers her from the pirates who speak evil things. They rejoice in doing them. It keeps her from the sailors who flatter her. Then she avoids their leadership in their dark and dangerous paths.
A woman who truly fears the Lord turns from her sinful ways. She seeks to please her Captain. This gives her strong confidence. It provides a place of refuge for her children. God gives her understanding.
The woman of understanding discerns between good and evil. She gains knowledge by observation and experience. This godly sailor knows her Logbook, the Bible. Wisdom uses this knowledge correctly. A wise woman thinks, speaks and acts with wisdom. She is careful in all aspects of her life.
Godly fear leads to life. It guides to a departure from the snares of death. This provides a sure and steadfast hope and anchor. Her heart finds satisfaction.
A God-fearing woman walks in her uprightness. She guides her ship aright. The fear of the Lord instructs her in wisdom. She finds honor and respect because she humbles herself before the Lord.
One God-fearing woman lived with her alcoholic husband fifteen years. She loved him and prayed often for him. This man came to the Lord. He gave up strong drink and started serving the Lord. Now his home became a pleasant place to live.
On the opposite pole, ungodly sailors do not fear the Lord. They even desecrate cemeteries and vandalize churches.
One atheist pointed his finger at God. A little spider bit him and he died. Another atheist said, “If there be a God, let snakes infest my body, and my grave.” Where they buried him, no snakes crawl around the rest of the cemetery. Many snakes slither around his plot.
Pirates despise the Lord and do perverse things. Lacking godly fear, they love their evil ways and lift up themselves. They boast of all their achievements. These proud sailors do not bow the knee. Oh, how wise I am! their arrogant hearts think.
They disregard godly wisdom and instruction. If they own a Bible, it collects dust.
Often their years are few. Sometimes, God cuts them off in the prime of life. [Some godly sailors die young. We do not understand, but we ought not criticize them.]
Such wicked sailors trouble their own homes. They come home in a drunken stupor and beat their wives and children. They spend all his money on drink and their shipmates lack what they need. God says that they inherit the wind.
Pirates fall for those get-rich-quick schemes. They may surf the internet to find them. Disappointment comes when they lose the money they invested to get rich. Often, they vent their anger.
Watch out for these ungodly sailors! Leave them at the port. They do not fear God. If our company sails with them, we will end up on the crags and shoals. Welcome godly sailors. They will guide your ship in the right paths.
A godly sailor may lose a child. She feels sorrow, but does not despair as the ungodly sailors. In the face of death, she has hope of eternal life. She expects to see her child again. If widowed, she asks the Lord, “What wilt Thou have me do?” While she waits upon Him, she busies herself with the tasks before her.
Escerpt from Lynn's book, Our Lifeship: A Study in Proverbs for Women, C 2008, Lynn Wallace. See more about her book, her bio, and speaking at www.writingfrommyheart.com.
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