Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. 16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases, but the righteous will look upon their downfall. 17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. 18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. 19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not respond.
Casting Off Restraint
Today’s verses address reproof and the lack thereof in our children as well as society. Solomon has spoken about this before. Here he says how for the child… a whipping accompanied with a good talking is so they will gain wisdom but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother…
Of course this “hands off and no reproof” way of child rearing is quite common in our culture today. So many people say “well I don’t want to influence my children about God or right or wrong or truth but let them make up their own mind.” Look, the devil and the world will be super happy with your way of thinking because while you are leaving your children to themselves they will be teaching and brainwashing and promising them all kinds of treasures which are all lies that will bring them pain and misery and bitterness and an unfulfilled life with little or no good benefit to others.
But what is Solomon telling us we should be doing? If we raise our children and discipline them properly and point them towards truth it will bring delight to our heart. How so? Well, when our children grow in the ways of godliness instead of into self centered adults it will bring a smile to our face… When we see them begin to love others and show forgiveness to others who wrong them instead of holding bitter grudges… when we see the patience and the joy they have even when there are hardships befalling them… When we see how the treasure they seek in life is not things or making all the money they can but to see more of the glory of God in Jesus… when we see all these kinds of things and more in our children it brings delight to our hearts.
So Solomon looks at how to deal with not only wayward children but wayward servants which I think in today's age we might relate to lazy workers or employees who steal and such. He says words are not enough… there has to be some kind of consequences. He is not saying there is never a cause for mercy… no, we are children of mercy who show mercy to others... but for those who are set with a bent for their sin words are not enough. That was pretty much the same advice Solomon gave us in bringing up our children… and not to discipline out of anger but out of love that it might point them to the ways of the Lord. That should be a given.
Well, Solomon also tells us how this apathy in standing up for what is right not only affects our children and people who work for us but it works in a similar way in relation to our country and our world. When a people begin forgetting Gods law; that is, all his promises and all the truths and commands which are actually for our good in his word… When people are left to themselves that they might do what is right in their own eyes and wickedness is allowed or even rewarded by the leaders then lawlessness is seen as the answer to society’s problems. That is not the answer for families, businesses or Nations.
Let's look at a couple verses... 16 and 18:
16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases, but the righteous will look upon their downfall. 18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
Solomon says how when there is no prophetic vision of the people they cast off restraint and reject Gods law… That makes sense to me. If people do not believe Gods word and the prophecies about Jesus, how he came and lived and died for us and rose again… If the people do not believe the prophecies of how he will return in glory for all who delight in him... then they have no hope in this broken world full of wickedness. They are not going to believe Gods word or follow his laws… They will cast off restraint like a child left to his own self centered ways of thinking.
There is a day coming when we all stand before God and those who have been given the righteousness of Jesus will like Solomon says, will look on the downfall of the wicked or those who did not accept the righteousness that Jesus lived out in his own life on earth. Solomon says blessed is he who keeps the law and the cool thing is that Jesus lived a perfect live and kept the law for us and applies it to all who believe. You know, the wages is sin is death but Jesus died the death we deserve and for all who delight in him he gives his righteousness and begins doing a work of motivating and quickening good works in our life or causing real and practical righteousness to come out of our life… Its nothing we can brag about but it’s him working in us. Jesus also rose from the dead and he gives us that same resurrection power to have victory over sin in this life as we walk with him. And as Jesus was raised we will one day be raised incorruptible no longer subject to the bondage and entropy related to sin… no more arthritis, Covid-19, no more hate, sorrow, tears… no more death. Thank you Father for this great gift through your Son Jesus Christ.