Pathways Through Proverbs
June 22, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 22
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Following Scripture Verses
- A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
- The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
- A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
- By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
- Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.
- Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
- The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
- He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
- He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
- Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.
- He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.
- The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.
- The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
- The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.
- Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
- He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
- Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
- For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
- That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
- Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
- That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
- Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
- For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
- Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
- Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
- Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
- If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?
- Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
- Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
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Today's verse is one that is considered to be very controversial in many corners of fundamentalism. The problem, in my opinion, stems not from an inability to understand what God has said, but rather from an unwillingness to accept the truth of the proverb. We see today many Christian homes which have produced children who are disinterested in the things of God. Sometimes these kids are rebellious, but often they are simply lukewarm to a Biblical lifestyle. They don't go to church like they should. They don't maintain the standards that their parents taught them. They don't have any personal relationship with the Lord apart from salvation (if they even have that). They live a life that is reflective of the society around them rather than the God Who is supposedly within them. When this happens, many parents look for someone to blame for the problem. Usually this will involve church and Christian school leaders, as well as the other kids in the church.
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However, it is important to see what God says here. When a child is trained properly, he will not depart from that training. This does not imply sinless perfection, but it does indicate that the young person will continue in the direction that the parents, as well as those that the parents have chosen to help mold their child, have set him on. Please note that the verse does not say that when he is old he will come back. It says that he will not depart in the first place. I have heard parents claim this verse as proof that their wayward children will return to the Lord, but that promise is not contained here. The promise is that the child will continue in the right direction if those responsible for his training send him in the right direction.
This puts a tremendous burden on me as a father to see to it that I being my children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4). I must consistently use proper teaching and proper discipline, as well as set a proper example for my children, if I expect them to love and serve the Lord. When I fail, I need to ask their forgiveness and show them my error.
How are you training your children? Their future depends on what you do with them, and in front of them, today.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery