January 29, 2015
Proverbs 29:25-26 (read the whole chapter)
Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Many seek an audience with a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. We’ve all heard it and most of us have said it. Relationships make the world go round. Today’s text pushes the adage a bit further by suggesting, “It’s not who you know, its WHO you know.”
Many seek an audience with a ruler. . . .
We work our proverbial rolodexes. If we could just get in front of thus and so. . . If we could just make our pitch to the CEO. . . If the billion dollar foundation would just entertain our proposal. Getting an audience with an important person seems like a silver bullet solution to solve our problems.
But it is from the Lord that one gets justice.
There are our connections and then there is our CONNECTION. Today’s text seems to indicate that the latter is far more important to a favorable outcome than the former.
Do we put our trust in our “connections,” or in our “connection?”
I have gone down the former path more times than I care to admit. In recent years, with the launch of Seedbed, I have found myself in need of significant amounts of capital. Seedbed is a ministry yet at the same time it is a startup business and startup businesses need healthy infusions of cash to develop a sustainable business model. On a number of occasions I have pondered how I might get an audience with a particular “ruler,” a.k.a. an exceedingly wealthy entrepreneur in the area. The Holy Spirit often prompts me on such occasions to remember that the success of Seedbed’s mission does not depend on me getting an audience with a ruler. Seedbed’s success depends on the favor of the Lord. Sure, God makes provision through people, but he typically chooses people who trust in Him more than they trust in their wealth.
Fear of man will prove to be a snair. . .
To the extent that we place our trust in people for our security and provision, we will inevitably succumb to what today’s text calls, “the fear of man.” I am beholden to the one on whom I am dependent. In other words, I will do whatever is necessary to please and appease this person in order to secure their provision. I will avoid doing anything that might offend them. This is how the “fear of man” works. This is not a relationship of love but one of slavery. Sooner or later, this proves to be a snare.
Alternatively, if I place my whole trust in God, I am able to overflow in gratitude toward those persons through whom God provides. Because I am not “beholden” to them, I am free to love them.
But whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
In the end, wisdom teaches us life does not consist in our connections to people but in our CONNECTION to God.
I’ll see you tomorrow in Proverbs 30.
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