The pop-up notification has been annoying. You know what I mean: in the middle any task it interrupts our train of thought and our view of the screen with its bold message. Finally, after several days of ignoring it and clearing it from view I decided to respond. Something struck me that I may have a real problem here. The icon on my screen showing a stethoscope poised over a hard drive indicates an error needing diagnostic help. If I follow the prompts and instructions the prognosis is significantly better than if I ignore the problem. I have found out my backup hard drive needs to spend some time in a recovery programme—I am assured there are only a few minutes remaining until that is complete.
Little did Isaiah know twenty-eight centuries ago that something he would write would have a counterpart illustration in my world today—maybe in your world too. He says the mind, the hard drive of every person, has a problem that needs repair. Listen to a few of his phrases:
“For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water.” (Isaiah 32:6)
That describes all of us at times, doesn’t it? We none of us are as consistently good as we long to be. We find ourselves caring less for others than is good for them, and more for our own selfish wants than is good for us.
Isaiah goes on to say, “But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.” Now that’s a high standard. That’s like the perfect condition my computer should be in, but desperately needs some diagnostics and recovery before it can achieve. What does our recovery require?
“The fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure”, explains the ancient writer in the next chapter.
Yes, that’s what we need. The LORD is the source of true and good character leading to noble plans and deeds. Fearing Him is the only route to avoiding the hacking destruction of our own characters, to recovery from our temptation and tendency to speak folly, practice ungodliness, spread error, leave the hungry empty and withhold water from the thirsty.
“God, we want our lives to count. Our deepest core yearns to be productive and effective, to live noble lives. Help us, Father, to take note of your soul-warning words that alert us to error, to apply the key of fearing You to our lives that desperately need you. Help us submit to the sometimes difficult process of becoming noble, as You, Jesus, designed us to be.”
(Photo Credit: Richard Wheeler, Wikimedia Commons)