Friday, February 6. 2015
The late comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, made a lot of money in his lifetime with his “I get no respect” stand-up routine. I suppose he had hundreds of one liners but just to give you an example of his “I get no respect” jokes, here are a few of them: “I worked at a pet store and people would ask how big I would get” ,“My father carries around the picture of the kid who came with his wallet”, “I looked up my family tree and found three dogs using it”, and “On Halloween, the parents sent their kids out looking like me.”
I hope you’ll excuse the corny intro, but I’m using it as a springboard to today’s topic about some people or things that get no respect but should. The thought to write on this matter actually came a few days ago when we saw a young lady texting while driving on the freeway on a cold and rainy day. I’ll be generous and say that most people instinctively slow down and drive cautiously on major thoroughfares when the roads are slick or icy, not her. Is it unusual to see cars on the side of the road that have crashed on such days? Do you know what the underlying cause is? The violators have no respect for the elements. What about people who drive recklessly and never heed traffic rules or signs? Obviously, they have little or no regard for the laws or the authorities. In many of these cases, these irresponsible motorists develop a healthy respect for these things after it has cost them dearly. I hope I haven’t bored you but I’ll repeat a favorite adage of mine: “It is better to learn from others’ mistakes than to learn them first hand.” It is a very wise thing to respect anything or anyone who is powerful, and just plain idiotic not to, especially when dealing with the mightiest One of all, the Lord Himself. Proverbs 1:7 says: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 9:10 adds: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” To sum these up simply, it means wisdom and knowledge in our lives begin with having a healthy respect and fear of God. When we do, we’ll be wiser and more knowledgeable in all other areas of life.
Two instances in the Bible regarding the fear of God and the lack thereof, ironically involve David, one directly and the other indirectly. In the first, David had a chance to kill King Saul, who tried on many occasions to kill him. Unknowingly, Saul went in unarmed to the cave where David and his men were hiding, and although David’s men prodded him to kill Saul, he told them there was no way he would touch the Lord’s anointed. (See 1 Samuel 24) David obviously refrained because of his healthy fear of the Lord. In the second, two men who were in David’s transport of the Ark of God to Jerusalem were in charge of the wagon the Ark was in and one of them thought it was no big deal to grab hold of it when the oxen stumbled. As soon as he did, the Lord struck him dead. (See 2 Samuel 6) In this case, a man who had no business holding God’s Ark in the first place died because he had no fear or respect of it. Remember this corny infantile joke?: One asked his friend, “What do you get when you cross a tiger with a parrot?” The other says he doesn’t know and then the first replies, “neither do I but if he talks, you better listen!” When God speaks, whether in the Bible or during our prayer time with Him, it behooves us not only to listen, but to act upon it.
Memory verse for the week: (2 Timothy 2:24) “And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”