Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wisdom That Spans Generations

"Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding; for I give you good doctrine; do not forsake my law. When I was my father's son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he also taught me, and said to me: "Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and life. Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth." -Proverbs 4:1-5

Solomon was the wisest man that ever walked the earth. You remember the story don't you? One night, God came to Solomon and told him to ask for whatever he wanted and God would give it to him. Solomon asked for wisdom that night. God was pleased with Solomon's request, so He gave Solomon wisdom and everything else that Solomon could have asked for.

Reading Proverbs this morning, for the first time I realized that Solomon's request for wisdom is not something that originated in Solomon's mind. He had been taught by his father, David. Look at Proverbs 4:3-5 again. Here are words spoken by King David and recorded by Solomon. David instructed Solomon to get wisdom and to get understanding. Solomon listened to his father and he knew the truth of his words. Interestingly enough, Solomon is here teaching his own children these same words that David had taught to him.

We must teach our children the wisdom and good doctrine of Scripture. Follow the example of David and Solomon. Solomon asked for wisdom because he had been taught by his father. Solomon sought to teach his children good doctrine because he had been taught by his father. David's teaching lasted at least two generations beyond him because what he taught was good doctrine. Our children can be faithful and godly because of what we teach them. What a great privilege and responsibility!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Of Sin and Consequence

"As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one...and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes." Romans 3:10, 17-18

All men are sinners. There is no one who is righteous--that is there is no one who does righteous things or who is righteous in nature. Mankind, at its very core is corrupt. Sure, people can do apparently moral acts and people can affirm that something is good, but Scripture teaches that even our righteousnesses are as filthy rags when we see them as God sees them. By our own standards we deserve heaven. But by God's standards we deserve hell.
L. S. Chafer says in his Systematic Theology that "sin is exceedingly sinful." How true this statement is. Sin, in its very nature is sinful. It is offensive to the righteousness and holiness of God. Sin will always produce sinfulness and never produce righteousness.
As I was reading my Bible this morning, I came across this note in the margin: "Sin is theological in nature, but sociological in consequences." When we sin, it is always offensive to God and it always has consequences for us and the people around us. We must understand what sin is like if we are to understand who we are as sinners. As sinners, we have offended God and there are consequences for those who live in proximity to us. Let us confess our sin to God and trust that He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Blessed Man

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not whither; and whatever he does shall prosper." -Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is an interesting word. Most of the time we use it to describe the state of life we are in when we have many material things or when things are going well for us. This first Psalm doesn't describe the man who is blessed in this way.
The man who is blessed is the man who, first of all, does not do wicked things. He doesn't walk through his life in the 'wisdom' of the ungodly'. He doesn't stand (abide, dwell) in the path of sinners and he doesn't sit in the dwelling of the scornful. This man steers clear of all things that are contrary to the Word of God.
The man who is blessed is the man that delights in the law of God. He thinks about it and ponders its meaning day and night. This man is totally stable. He is rooted and grounded in what he believes (Colossians 2:6-7). He is like a tree planted close to the rivers. This summer, my dad, my brother, and I took a trip to Boston to watch the Redsox play the Yankees. On the way back from the game, we walked through a park in Boston. In this park there was a small river (or large stream, whichever you prefer). Along the banks of the river were some very large trees. The base of the trunks of these trees were so healthy that the roots literally began two feet above ground and grew down into the ground from there. I'm sure that those roots extended deep into the soil.
The blessed man is a fruitful man. As he delights in the law of God, he sees the effects of it in his life. The righteousness that he reads in the Word is lived out in his life. God makes this man prosper in whatever he does.
Are you a blessed man? Do you measure your blessedness by what you have or by how much you delight in God's law. Read the Word and you will be blessed.