The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4 (NRSV)
I am sure you have heard, as I have, the expression, self-made man. While I have not heard it, I feel certain that “self-made woman” must also be in parlance today. I know what these expressions mean, namely, that the person has achieved fame, success, and wealth largely without help, financial or otherwise, from others. We recognize the hard work and time the person has invested to attain this status. We applaud them for showing great initiative and demonstrating a strong work ethic, but honestly, there is no one who can declare to be self-made!
Having been brought up on the King James Version of the Holy Bible, I have always appreciated Psalm 100:3, as it appears there. “Know ye that Lord, He is God, it is He who hath made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
That translation leaves no doubt as to the rightful order of life. God is supreme! God has made us! We belong to God!
In Psalm 24:1, we also read, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness there of; the world and they who dwell therein.” Everything in life belongs to God. With that recognition we see rightly our place in the world.
That awareness leads us to be humble before God and to bow in reverence before Him. In Proverbs 9:10, we read, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One, is understanding.” This is not a cowering fear, but a fear born of awe and respect.
The Lord rewards those who humble themselves and show that fear before Him with riches and honor and life. The riches here may not be a surplus of money and worldly goods. The honor may not be public acclaim and awards. The reward of life may not be viewed in terms of longevity, but in abundance. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 These rewards may not be what we thought they would be and yet they may be more than we could ever have dreamed or imagined! We are richly blessed when we know that we are not self-made and we know to Whom we belong. Thanks be to God!
Lord, thank You for showing us by Christ’s example the greatness of humility. Thank You for teaching us that fearing You is the beginning of wisdom. Thank You, for rewarding those who are humble and fear You with riches and honor and life, in Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.