Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Psalms 111:10 -- On Progression and Praise

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."
Psalms 111:10

This seems like a progression.  The fear of the Lord is the *beginning* of wisdom... how we first learn to respect God, and obey him.  He's bigger, he knows more, he is stronger than we are... kind of like when we are little kids and subject to our parents.  We have to be.  They are big and we are little.  But of course that doesn't mean that they don't love us or that we can't develop that relationship into something more.  Later in the progression seems to be the good understanding... when we get to that point, then we do the commandments because we understand how commandments bring blessings and the whole idea of consequences, and wanting better ones.  And I think that the last phrase is another step.  We learn respect, we learn obedience, and then we learn praise... because at that level of understanding we realize all that God does for us, that everything he does is out of love for us, and that our whole lives are designed to bring us love and happiness and unity and peace.  And when you realize that, how can you not praise, and rejoice, and love God, who made it all possible?
Of course, in our imperfection, we sometimes backslide and forget things that we have learned before.  Perhaps we have tasted of God's praise and felt to rejoice in his goodness, but then doubts and fears crept in, or we started to doubt because God didn't give us everything we wanted. :)  That's why in Alma 5:26  we are asked "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" ... We have to maintain our knowledge and testimony and keep moving closer to God, and avoid sliding backwards.  We have to "endure to the end" ... which always sounds like suffering, but it is really just remembering, and not losing what we have gained.  It's kind of like how in many professions we have to take classes from time to time to make sure we are still current on the latest in our fields.  We have to do that with God too.  Many of our basic lessons can be learned on a higher level once our understanding has progressed.  We can't just read the scriptures once and check the box. :)  We keep reading them, and learn new things every time.  We can't just attend church once and call it good.  We keep going, and keep learning.
Today, wherever in our progression we are, let's keep going.  Let's keep learning and moving forward.  Let's remember to refresh and renew our knowledge and testimonies, to continue to respect and obey and praise God, and to feel again what we have felt before as we allow God to change our hearts and to teach us each day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews