By Larry Ray Hafley
(1) One may extol the virtues of morality, bravery, kindness, and humility but be possessed of none of them. One may excoriate the vices of intemperance, cowardice, harshness, and arrogance but be polluted with all of them.
(2) Are you familiar with the expression, “Be not deceived?” Even casual students of the Bible recognize it. Wherever and whenever you find the expression, be prepared to confront an absolute truth. When the Spirit says, “Be not deceived,” He is saying, in our language, “Do not make auy mistake about it; here is the way it is; what follows is the truth and any other idea is wrong.” The statement is doctrine’s way of securing rapt attention, for a certain fact is to be set forth. See 1 Cor. 15:33 and Gal. 6:7, 8.
(3) We may also learn from the term, “Beware.” It was a favorite word of the Master—“But beware of men” (Matt. 10:17); “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Saducees” (Matt, 16:6): “Take heed and beware of covetousness” (Lk. 12:15). Where and when do we use the word, “beware?” It is always in the face of crisis and danger. It is never used lightly. One must beware of a Cobra bite not of a mosquito. No one picks up a sign saying, “Beware, Wet Paint!” But we are quick to warn, “Beware of fallen rock.” So, let us not take the term lackadaisicallv when we find it in Scripture. It is a word of exclamation and of extreme peril; so, beware when you see the word, “beware.”
(4) “Blessed is the man that walketb not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners. nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night’ (Psa. 1:1, 2). Upon what do you meditate in your mind and conversation? Is it sports, soap operas, the stock market, materialistic plans? What? If so, you are not the one who is “blessed,” “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psa. 119:97). Is it yours?
Truth Magazine XX: 44, p. 690
November 4, 1976