Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jul 20, Pro 22-23

Today’s readings are Pro 22-23.

Much of what is in these chapters deals with being wise in evaluating the character of those we associate with and in how we carry out our relationships with others. Once again, integrity in our relationships is a major theme. But, this set of verses also urges us to avoid those who lack integrity lest we be negatively impacted.

All of this requires ruthless self-scrutiny and constant vigilance of our own hearts and their motivations. It's easy to fall into envy, malice, self-interest and a host of negative attributes. We are seduced by them. They permeate our thoughts and hearts slowly but methodically. Pride can prevent us from confessing them. This is why the wisest man in the history of the world, Solomon, says in Prov 22:4,
"The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life."
This is counter-intuitive to the way the world thinks.  It's certainly at odds with the prevailing attitudes of 21st century America where independence, self-motivation and a particular type of ruthlessness are generally considered to be the key elements in becoming successful. Success in God's eyes is marked by reverential fear of Him and humility. Neither will guarantee worldly success. But both are the keys to eternal rewards.

One more verse that bears some examination is Prov 22:6,
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
This is a wise way to raise your child. It is not a guarantee of their salvation nor their spiritual health. In other words, this is not a promise of God. Of course, ignoring this tidbit of wisdom because it's not a promise would be a foolish, perhaps even irresponsible, way to raise your child. A good Kuvakas paraphrase of this would be, "Your child is far more likely to walk a godly walk if you raise him up according to the word of God."

Ultimately, our children's salvation, just like ours, relies on the move of the Holy Spirit and His transformational power and presence. We can no longer make this happen in our children's lives by what we teach them than our parents could make it happen in ours. Our job, as parents, is to till that soil, plant those seeds, then leave it up the Holy Spirit to change the heart. 

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