Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
The proverb sums up Jesus’ parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus. Because the rich man did not heed “Moses and the prophets,” he brought destruction upon himself in Hades. Lazarus, though he suffered in his earthly life, was rewarded with heaven, no doubt as a keeper of the commandments.
Jesus’ parable made the further point that the despiser of the Word is not to expect extra efforts made to turn him around – no visits from ghosts like Scrooge received, no extraordinary miracles. The Word of God is enough on its own, and, indeed, it serves to reveal the true state of our hearts. Those who reject Scripture feel justified now, claiming that it contains contradictions, is filled with error, etc. They may claim now that Scripture does not bring with it enough evidence to be believed. But once they have died or Christ has returned, all arguments will be seen for what they are – excuses to cover up pride and rebellion.
Now is the time to heed God’s Word. Now is the time to heed his Gospel. And today is the time to read God’s Word, meditate upon it, and let it examine your heart so that you will live for him in obedience.
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