Saturday, February 20, 2016
No, not the old movie, the writings. I have been studying and meditating on Proverbs for the last month or so. When you rarely preach, you are able to spend time on subjects that are more for yourself and less for the hearers. My graduate studies have been lax over the last year with all the turbulence. My wife’s health, Moves, Unemployment, a Heart condition and a broken Pelvis, I can’t say life has been rosy and circumstances have been positive. But in the midst of all of that what I can say is God is still good in any bad condition. He has been my one (outside of my wife) constant and on Him I am and will always set my course towards Him. In the mistakes that have been made, He has always been my Redeemer. One to set me back on course. In the proverbs, I see God’s constancy and the ever grinding wheel of justice, truth and wisdom. If I were to reach three conclusions or lessons in Proverbs it would be the following:
1> God is always sovereign and has the last word in any situation in my life.
2> Guarding one’s self from the many faces of evil (lasciviousness, wickedness, deceptive practices, self-promotion, pride, bad company, slothfulness, offense) will keep one’s mind and heart clean so the Way can be clearly seen and trod.
3> Family training and honoring one’s senior is the way of wisdom, knowledge and prosperity. In fact, the book of Proverbs was written from Father to a Son not yet ready to face the world in all its severity, brutality and unrighteousness
The writer warns the son to listen to him and to mind what wisdom the father can bestow. In the end times, the Apostle Paul has much to say about the relations between parents and children – basically there is none. This characteristic is perhaps the telling of the times. It is also a main manifestation of cult like behavior. While a group may not be a cult, if the ear markings surrounding it are centered around children grown or otherwise sacrificing a relationship that was God ordained, it is not a healthy place. Yes, I know that sometimes sons and daughters look at their parents as in the wrong and even evil ( that is the spin inside some groups) but there is no denying the scriptures ingrained in the Proverbs. The whole premise really comes from pride. In most groups that are veering towards toxic, one begins to hear that the group is part of the ‘true’ church. In many groups, there are even doctrines that are practiced that bend scriptures to cause the delineation between the group and mainstream faith. It is these that begin to seed the pride which grows into arrogance. Frankly, one becomes arrogant in toxic groups and looks at others who call on the name of Jesus, as I have heard from their pulpits, as sub-normal Christians. It is in this vein all the breaking of relationships rests. The thought goes, if one can reduce another to sub-normal, deceived, weak, etc, they can ‘de-humanize’ them. To some groups, we in the mainstream are retarded. When I began to see my former way of life and realized it was not about Christ at all, it was about submission to authorities who in my opinion abused that place of leadership, I am the deceived evil one. You know, the one that took them in and loved them as my own, raised them, provided for them and always supported them. What a wicked misuse of the scriptures. If anyone has half a mind and reads through the genuine Apostles’ works, they will clearly see, there were from the beginning different points of faith but the same Lord – so to call it misuse is not out of bounds here. We have rejected their ‘truth’ and so we deserve their shunning. It is hard to fathom but this is believe it or not, commonplace in toxic groups. So, who is really sub-human here? It is a question to ponder.
One thing Proverbs has resoundingly established, whatever is the real truth will come forth. The fool always manifests he is a fool. The wise rise on the eyes of God and the wicked and prideful are remembered no more. I guess depending on what side of the fence one is on, I could be called either one. But in reality, the opinions of men do not ultimately matter. It is not in us to build beyond our lifetime. There really is no legacy other than love, that’s it. But there is a passing from one to another and the chief crime here is the denial of that very thing. I have accomplished much in this life. I have made mistakes I would not wish on anyone. But as the Proverbs so richly set forth, I have God as a solid foundation and on Him I will rest and wait for the only assessment that matters. To believe some else has that or partakes in that ability or place is sorcery.