"He who despises the Word will be destroyed,
but he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.”
There is no mistaking the importance of God's Word in the life of the believer. However, we can easily slip into dangerous modes regarding God's Word.
For instance, our posture before God's Word is important. By that I mean, how you place yourself before the Word of God. Humility before the Bible is a non-negotiable. If you remain proud before God's Word, there will be great opposition from God. However, God's grace is always promised to the humble (James 4:6). How you approach God's Word, including your attitude towards it, and your esteem of it, are vitally important. Do not despise it, or disesteem it.
How you respond in your heart to the teaching of God’s Word is also of utmost importance.
Solomon writes here that if an attitude of “despising” God’s Word is evidenced, destruction will follow. To despise God’s Word is to reject it, to treat it with contempt, to deny its claim on you. It is to treat the Word of God like Esau treated his own birthright. He “despised” it (Genesis 25:34). He thought little of it and did not esteem it for what it was worth.
Despising God’s Word is not a virtue. If you listen to the preacher and teacher of God’s Word with cynicism, or with an ear unwilling to hear, then you are in grave spiritual danger. Do not “despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
On the other hand, the one who “fears” the Word of God is promised a reward. The word “fear” is the opposite of despising God’s Word. While despising means to reject the Word, to fear the commandment is to reverence it, to give it the proper place that it demands and deserves.
God’s Word demands and deserves your utmost attention, your utter devotion, and your unwavering commitment to obey. To do otherwise is to reject God himself.
To despise God’s Word brings destruction; to reverence God’s Word brings reward.
So practically, when you read God’s Word on your own, when you hear it preached and taught on the Lord’s Day, when someone is discipling you from the Word, remember the teaching of this verse. Do not despise the Word of God. Esteem it highly. Whatever it says is right and you must esteem it to be so (Psalm 119:128). The rewards that are promised are unnamed, but the blessing of God is always for the person who chooses to revere and obey God’s Word.