Pathways Through Proverbs
May 17, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 17
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Solomon spends a great amount of time in Proverbs talking about the family. He not only deals with proper relationships in the home, but he also deals with its importance. Today's passage is a great challenge to every believer who has children.
- Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.
- A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
- The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
- A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
- Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
- Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
- Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.
- A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
- He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
- A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
- An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
- Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
- Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
- The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
- He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
- Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
- A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
- A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.
- He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
- He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.
- He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
- A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
- A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
- Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
- A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
- Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.
- He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
- Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
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The verse opens with the statement that grandchildren are the crown of old men. While this may mean that it is wonderful for people to have grandchildren, I believe that there is more to it than that. How much joy would there be for a believer to have grandchildren if those grandchildren were not following after God? It would be devastating to have children or grandchildren who were either not saved or not living for the Lord. Personally, I think that I would view my own life as being somewhat a failure, regardless of what else I might have accomplished. According to Malachi 2:15, one of the reasons that God created the institution of the home was so that Christian parents could produce a "Godly seed". To do less is to not fulfill God's plan for my home.
Many of our fundamental Baptist pastors and leaders have forgotten this principle. They have invested so much of their lives in building their churches that they have neglected their own children. Some of these men have seen great success in their communities, but they have failed miserably in their own homes. Some have produced children who were not interested in serving the Lord, and those children have chosen spouses who were at a similar spiritual level and thus produced children who were carnal at best and unsaved at worst. How sad it would be to come to your retirement years and see this for a legacy!
It is my desire that my children grow up to serve the Lord, and that their children do the same. I have the responsibility to do everything in my power to see that it happens. I don't want to come to the end of my life surrounded by family members who don't love the Lord, for there will certainly be no joy in that for me or for them. I hope you feel the same way about your family, and that you will take the steps to insure that your children and grandchildren are a "crown" to you.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery