On Monday we mused over Proverbs 19:23.
"The fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil." NKJV
So what does this verse really mean and how can we apply it to our lives? After all, we live in evil and harmful times. We're not immune to it. In fact, James says in chapter 1:2, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."
Harm and evil are part of this fallen world. It's inevitable.
Solomon said, "All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked;" Ecc.9:2
Then we need to dig into this verse and pull out the hidden gems. Because we know that the Bible does not contradict itself. It's infallible.
First, let's look at our…
Key Words: Life, Abide, Satisfied, Visited With Evil
"Life" in Hebrew is "chay" and it means, "living, alive, flowing (of water), reviving (springtime). From the root word, "chayah" meaning "to live, have life, remain alive, live forever."
"Abide" is "luwn" meaning, "remain, cause to rest, to lodge."
And "satisfied" is "sabea" meaning "sated, satisified, abounding" from the root word, "saba" meaning "to be fulfilled, sated (with food), be filled, to have in excess."
So we could say, "To have a deep awe and respect for the Lord brings us alive like living or flowing water, like the budding flowers at springtime and we will live forever--eternally and because of this, we can rest in excess and abundance of Jesus Christ…."
But what about the latter half of the verse? "He will not be visited with evil." NKJV
I'm reminded of the story of Joseph. A young teenager who was thrown into a pit by his brothers. Begged to be drawn out, only to be sold--bound and fettered before their calloused hearts and evil eyes--and taken to Egypt. (Genesis 37)
Working as a slave to an Egyptian captain. (Genesis 39:1)
Yet he continued to fear the Lord. And he abided in abundance. Everything he set his hand to, God was with him.
Then Potiphar's wife nagged him everyday, working her best to seduce him until he'd come to a point of weakness and he fled. "How can I do this wickedness against God?" (Genesis 39:10-15)
And instead of a, "Well done, Joseph! You passed another test!" He was falsely accused or rape/attempted rape, and thrown into prison. (Genesis 39:20)
Which tells me that evil--calamity, sickness, disaster happens to anyone. Even those abiding in the Lord. It happened to Joseph. It happens to us.
Jesus says in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Abiding in Christ brings an inner peace when everything on the outside is falling apart.
"Visited with evil" in the Hebrew means, "to pay attention to." So we could say:
"To have a deep awe and respect for the Lord brings us alive like living or flowing water, like the budding flowers at springtime and we will live forever--eternally and because of this, we can rest in excess and abundance of Jesus Christ and when calamity or bad things of this world happen, we don't have to be bothered or fixate on it because we know that all things work together for good for those who love God."
What Joseph's brothers meant for evil, God meant for good. (Genesis 50:20)
All things work together for good. Not all good things happen. We have to trust that the hurt, disappointments, calamities, sickness, deaths, rejection, abuse can be used by God for good in our lives. (Romans 8:28)
That's hard to do sometimes, isn't it?
Joseph said, "You have made me fruitful in the land of my affliction." (Genesis 41:52)
It's in the worst of times, we learn to trust the most.
Would you say that you have learned to depend on God most in the good times or the tough times? Why?