“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Humans beings are taught to adopt a lifestyle of lifelong learning. For We all know, that if we fail to do that, we would become obsolete, that is why many people spend much effort and money learning knowledge that will help them in their daily lives.
We choose to do it even when our live on earth is temporary. Now if we spend so much effort learning how to live our physical life, shouldn’t we put in more effort to cultivate our spirit? The bible teaches us a few things we ought to learn in this life. They are important lessons for it concern salvation , and they are lessons we need to learn as we live in this life.
Lesson 1 : Learning To Fear God
“especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’” – Moses (Deut 4:10)
When the Lord appeared before his people in Mount Horeb (Sinai), it was indeed a great and awesome sight, but God did not do it just to flex his muscle before the Israelites. He wanted them to know that he is a living God and God wanted them to put in effort to worship him. They need to teach this fear of God to their own children.
King Solomon concluded the book of Ecclesiastes like this
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.”- Solomon (Ecc 12:13-14)
But the question is, do we know how to fear God? What does it mean to fear God?
What Does It Mean To Fear God?
The bible gave us many examples from the Old Testament Scriptures
Eg 1: Abraham
When Abraham offered Isaac his son to the Lord , he was able to do it for he trust God completely. Just when he was about to lay hand on this own son, an angel appeared and say “Now I know that you fear God”. (Gen 22:12) God did not want Abraham to offer Isaac, he wanted to test if Abraham feared God.
From here we can see that to fear God is to trust in him and to be completely obedient to him. A person fear God knows that God is a faithful God. He would not doubt the commands given to him by God.
Eg 2: Joseph
When Joseph was tempted by his mistress, he said something that is worthy of our consideration
“How then can I do this great
wickedness, and sin against God?” – Joseph (Gen 39:9)
To fear God is to preserve holiness in the midst of sin.
After the death of Jacob, Joseph’s brothers were afraid of Joseph taking revenge on them. But as they spoke to Joseph, he replied them saying,
“Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
But as for you, you meant evil against me;
but God meant it for good, in order to bring
it about as it is this day, to save many people
alive.” – Joseph (Gen 50:19-20)
To Fear God is to be able to see his guidance in all things, even in the midst of difficulty. One who fear God would not murmur and would never take revenge. He will trust God and endure.
Eg 3: Daniel and His 3 Friends
In the book of Daniel, we knew that Daniel would rather thrown into the lions den then not to worship God.
We would also remember the story where the 3 friends of would rather be thrown into the fiery furnace than to worship idols. These men choose to remain faithful to God at all times.
From here we know that to fear God is to remain faithful to him regardless of circumstances. Since God love for us never change, our love for our father should not be changed as well.
Eg 4: The Egyptian Midwives
When Pharaoh ordered the Egyptian midwives to kill ever Hebrew child that they delivered. The book of exodus testified about them
“But the midwives feared God, and
did not do as the king of Egypt
commanded them, but saved the
male children alive.”- Moses (Ex 1:19)
The midwives feared God, and they chose to disobey the Pharaoh. From here we know that to fear God is to obey the words of God and not obey the words of man.
The Definition of fearing God
The bible records these stories for us to read, so that we could all understand what it means to fear God. For Christians today must learn the fear of God. In fact the book of proverbs concluded by telling us
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.” – Solomon (Prov 8:13)
“In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.” – Solomon (Prov 16:6)
They both remind us that to fear God is to hate evil and to stay away from sin. The next question is, what should we doing if we fear God?
Lesson 2: Learning To Do Good And Be Honest
Paul once teaches about doing good. He said
“And let our people also learn to maintain
good works, to meet urgent needs,
that they may not be unfruitful.” – Paul (Titus 3:14)
“Let him who stole steal no longer,
but rather let him labour, working with
his hands what is good, that he may have
something to give him who has need.”- Paul (Eph 4:28)
Perhaps we are never thieves, but in the modern business, we tend to cut corners in our work. Modern man loves to gain benefits without working too hard. However, Paul here reminds us to work hard and to do what is good.
That is why we need to discern between profit made through good conscience from those by underhanded means. We need to labour with our hands to do what is good. When God bless us with surplus, let us help those in need.
There was an entrepreneur who once was made to answer the question “What is your secret of success?” Instead of answering the question directly, he started by giving a story
There was a youth who went to France for study, and he need to work to put him through university. His life was hard, and when he was there he realize there are no ticketing officers on the trains and buses. He realize that the system works on trust that every commuter will pay while on the train.
But this youth choose not pay, though his conscience pricked him, he defended himself saying “I am poor and I need to save”. After his graduation, he went on to find work in a multinational company. He was confident of his credentials and he was greeted warmly by the chairman of the company. However he received a rejection letter.
The letter reads
“We admire your abilities, but when we checked
your credibility, we notice you have not been
paying your ticket, and this tells us 2 points about you
a. You do not subject yourself to rules and laws
b. You do not deserve to be trusted
Therefore we cannot accept you to our company.
Morals can compensate for a lack of knowledge, but
knowledge can never compensate a lack of morals”
The quotes at the end of the letter, hit the nail on his head, and he know he cannot stay there. He return to his country, and resolved to stop cheating.
Everyone was expecting him to continue, but he did not. So they asked “How does this story teach us your secret of success?”
The man replied “The reason why I am able to be successful was because I took the stumbling block of my past as a foundation for my future”
The crowd applauded , for he was a failure who learnt from his mistakes. He no longer cheats to get benefits, he became an honest businessman who did good.
That is why Paul remind us to work with our hands and to do good. Let us not go against the word of God. For we live in a world full of illegal loopholes that could be exploited. If we desire to get rich quickly, we would need to take a greater risk.
But is our souls and life worth that little bit of gain?
Conclusion So Far
So far we had touch on 2 lessons , to fear God and to do good. It is hope that we could all learn from them and to change our lives for the better.
There are still other Blog post coming up in this series so stay tuned