Rich or poor?
There are just some things in life we should never ignore. If we have a toothache and attempt to ignore the fact this aching pain has significance, we may be subject to root canal and a crown at a later date. If our right lower abdomen aches and aches to the point of becoming quite tender, we might just be late to catch a very inflamed appendix before it ruptures bringing all kinds of other issues we'd rather not have to deal with. Ignoring the red warning light on the dashboard of your car could result in you being stranded far away from help when you most need it. It just isn't wise to ignore things that are right there in front of us. So, I have to ask this: Why is it that we can ignore the Word of God for so long and think we will be able to make a go of things without issue in our lives? There is just something "foolish" in ignoring what is right in front of us - especially when what is there has the capacity to bring life, avoid harm, and build trust!
Ignore the Word and suffer; honor God’s commands and grow rich. (Proverbs 13:13 MSG)
Ignoring something means we actively refrain from noticing or paying attention to it. It isn't passive - it requires our active participation to ignore something. Get a paper cut on your finger and try ignoring it! That tiny cut, seemingly insignificant in comparison to the entire rest of your body's skin which is full intact will nag at you each time you touch it, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer, or just plain split it open again before it has a chance to heal. It seemed insignificant, but just because it wasn't right in your field of sight all of the time doesn't make it any less "there"!
The Word of God is not something given for our occasional intake. Without a regular intake of the Word, we have more than a "subtle" chance of developing severe "spiritual anemia" and "malnutrition". Since the Word was designed for "regular" and "consistent" intake, anything less will just cause us to be spiritually depleted. Yet, it is not enough to just "take it in". We probably "take in" a whole lot of food items which have little to no nutritional value for our bodies, but we like the taste of them. The value of taking in the right stuff, at the right time, in the right frame of mind and heart cannot be denied.
The Word is given for whatever "frame of mind" or status of heart we might be in, and for the specific timing of our need. To ignore help when it is right in front of us would be considered "unwise" by most. It would be like being offered life-blood when we are on the verge of dying without it! The advantages to getting into the Word and allowing it to get into us - we learn what it is we are to be doing in this life and in turn, we become rich. Not a physical wealth of sorts, but a mental, spiritual, and emotional richness. The Word is able to impact our minds when there is uncertainty, settling us down, and helping us to focus. It is able to strengthen us beyond our "capacity" to deal with life's challenges. It is equally as efficient at bringing order to our out of control emotions. But...we must take it in, pay attention to what is being said to us, and then act upon it!
Most people who acquire physical wealth in their lifetime don't do so because they ignore opportunities to invest wisely. In fact, they take advantage of those opportunities even when they may seem like a little bit of a "long shot". There is some risk in their investment, but it is a "calculated risk". I want us to begin to consider the "risk" we take by ignoring God's Word. Is it truthfully a "calculated" risk? Not likely! We just get so busy, too intent on doing things independently, or just plain don't see the value in it, so we ignore it and miss out on the opportunity to have it guide us through life.
Richness is described as the state of abounding. In other words, there is just plain "NO LACK" of anything we need. If we are experiencing "lack" in any way today, it might just be that we need a little more of God's Word to assist us in moving from "lack" into "richness". Just sayin!