Attaining An Honorable Name

June 29, 2013

Friends,
Pr. 3:3 admonishes us, “Do not let loyal covenant love and faithfulness leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” In other words, we are not only to conduct ourselves according to God’s laws, performing the duties He gives us, but we are to have God’s teachings so engraved upon our hearts and minds that they are our very nature. God’s nature becomes our nature (1 John 3:9) and we therefore walk in conformity to Christ. (Rom. 8:29) We have Christ’s Spirit in us and so we not only live just as Jesus did (1 John 2:6), but it is Him living His life through us. (Gal. 2:20) “Then” as Pr. 3:4 promises, “you will attain favor and an honorable reputation in the sight of God and man.”

Many people are striving to be favored and honored by men. Others seek God’s favor, but they do so through the ways their “Christian” culture advises so that soon they, as well, are really just seeking men’s approval. What happens, though, when men seek to be esteemed by men is that corruption oozes into the heart. And once that happens, there is little the corrupted man won’t stoop to do. Intoxicated by the feeling of acclaim and admiration he gets, he comes to need recognition and honor more and more so that he tries to orchestrate events, and control others, as ways to satisfy his insatiable appetite.

We are never to seek men’s approval. We are to seek God’s. Then we will be approved and honored by those people who want God’s ways upheld. Those who work evil will often just hate us. But this should not be of concern to us, for God Himself will deal with them.

What is it that brings favor and an honorable reputation before God and man? It is to hold dear God’s ways. His ways are faithful, loyal, loving, and pure. He commands that we live by the same –by this covenant love. Therefore we are to bind it around our neck so that we belong to it, so that we remain bound to it, and so that wandering off in unfaithfulness is not an option. Furthermore, if we write God’s covenant laws upon the tablet of our heart, then we’ve written them in that place of love and we will love them.

Pr. 3:1 admonishes about this very thing: “My son, do not forget My teaching, but let your heart keep My commandments.” If the heart is in covenant love with God, the heart itself will obey God’s commands, and the person’s lifestyle will follow accordingly. This will bring prosperity and a long life. (v. 2) Chapter two exhorts along the same lines, beginning with, “My son, if you accept My words, and store up My commands within you…” (2:1) and then goes on to promise wisdom, discretion, and protection. Ps. 119:11-16 can be seen as the grateful response, beginning with, “In my heart I store up Your words, so that I might not sin against You. Praise be to You, O LORD…”

If a man does sin against God, he has not been faithful and loyal to his covenant love with God. He has been unfaithful, meaning he has acted treacherously. He has broken his word and his pledge, he has acted deceitfully, and he has violated others’ rights by violating the covenant of love and loyalty. Such a man will have no end of disaster and distress (Pr. 1:10-33), if not outwardly, certainly within his own soul, and in the end, he will “be filled with the fruit of his schemes.” (See v. 31) “For the waywardness of the simpletons will kill them, and the smug self-sufficiency of fools will destroy them.” (v. 32)

But, whoever applies his heart to Wisdom will come to understand God. And by holding tightly to Him and His Instructions, that man will inherit the favor an honorable name brings, both in the eyes of God and in the eyes of men.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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