They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

The Rabbi and the Scorpion: The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

Proverbs 1:7; 9:10 and Psalm 111:10

It seems as if almost every day lately, in the news we get a new story of a famous politician, actor or sports figure who has committed some egregious sin that brings shame to them, their families and organizations. Though not publicized, the same failings are being repeated throughout our communities all over our country. Sins that used to be “in the closet” are now being discussed and practiced openly. The prevailing attitude is that everyone is entitled to do what makes them feel good and is best for them, regardless of the consequences. “Have it your way; you deserve a break today”, and “I want it all, and I want it now” are just a few of the slogans that we hear every day. The fear of the Lord has seemingly vanished from the consciences of many people. Satan is having a field day with our families because we are dabbling in more and more of the sins that God has told us will bring us harm and ruin. The following, short devotional story is a great teaching lesson in what our approach to sin should be.

There was a rabbi who was taking a long journey to climb to the top of Mt. Sinai. As he was about to begin his ascent, a scorpion approached him and said that he also was going to the top of Mt. Sinai. “Would it be possible for me to ride on your shoulder and go with you on this journey, “asked the scorpion? At first, the rabbi was adamant, “NO! You will sting me and leave me to die on the path!” However, the scorpion was very persuasive and he finally convinced the rabbi that it would be stupid to sting and kill his ride to the top, because then the scorpion wouldn’t get to the destination, either. Finally, the rabbi consented and put the scorpion on his shoulder, and together they started to the top of Mr. Sinai. When they had almost reached the summit, the scorpion suddenly stung the rabbi in the jugular vein, causing him to crumple to his knees, and start the painful death throes that accompany the scorpion’s venom. The rabbi gasped, “Why? How could you do this? Why did you trick me?'” The scorpion replied, “I didn’t trick you-you knew what I was when you picked me up!”

What a powerful lesson! Don’t pick it up and don’t even touch it! We can’t afford to dabble in and pick up worldly vices! Their end is certain and sure because Satan is in the business of deceiving whoever he can. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that is where you will find long life and peace. We know what we are doing when we choose Satan’s lies over God’s wisdom, and we pay a hefty price when we choose to sin against what we know is right. This story is a great reminder to us to stay in God’s word. Concerning God’s words to us, Psalm 19:11 sums it up best when it says, “By them is your servant warned, in keeping them there is great reward”!

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