Came across this verse today in my reading, "Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day: for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off." Prov. 23:17-18
A couple things stood out. First - all the day. It is helpful for me to get these reminders of how constant our relationship with God is designed to be. Zealous, to be consumed with desire, for a fear of the Lord. I'm in the middle of working, raising a family, other pursuits, many good things, but am I zealous all the day for Him?
Second - for there is a hereafter. The cause of the zealous fear is not more intellect, greater effort, or "because I know I should." It's an understanding that what we see is not permanent and is not the end. There is a heavenly city, a paradise where we will stand before Him face to face. This revelation of 'hereafter' is sobering and it rearranges our priorities. Once we live with eternity in mind, it becomes much more natural to zealously fear Him all the day.
Third - hope looks like believing in and waiting for His hereafter rather than envying what can be gained today. Such was the example of Moses, "By faith Moses...refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward." Heb. 11:24-26 Such an encouraging example!
My prayer for us today is that the Spirit would show us the hereafter more clearly. That we would be given the grace to fear Him zealously all the day. That we would put God in His rightful place above all other things - even the good things in our lives. And that we would look to the reward rather than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. Amen!