Daily Reflections March 17, 2017
The fourth chapter of Proverbs continues the instruction of a kingly father to his son. And we see that this wisdom he is passing on was passed down by his father. This is a wonderful reminder of the crucial role and responsibility that parents have for their children. A school can provide some education and a church can provide spiritual care, but the parents of a child are divinely positioned to have the most impact in the raising of a child to be mature and wise. You can sense in this chapter the tender care and intense love of the father that fervently desires the best for his child. And wisdom is more apt to be received when this is the case.
The theme in this passage is that there are two roads: wisdom and wickedness. In verses 18 and 19 they are compared through the metaphor of light and darkness:
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.”
The father implores his son to not swerve to the right or to the left from the path of wisdom. But this is not simply a declaration of his preference. This is his plead for his son to choose life over death. He must guard, keep, and gaze forward on the path of wisdom because from it comes life, healing, and righteousness. But he must also avoid the path of the wicked because they live to do evil and will stumble deeper and deeper into destruction. There must be diligent attentiveness to both staying on the path of wisdom and resisting the pull toward stepping onto the path of the wicked. Many fall because they neglect protecting their steps or fighting the temptation to veer.
Jesus tells us that the way of destruction is tread by many but few follow the path that leads to life:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
Brothers and sisters, ponder the path of your feet. Consider whether you are walking in the path of wisdom or of wickedness. Are things getting brighter or you are stumbling in darkness?
Yours in Christ,
Associate Pastor Evan Webster
Paul continues in his argument to the Galatians that salvation comes through faith alone and not through works. The false teaching that the Galatian church must observe all the Jewish laws to become Jewish, to be saved was souring the church. Paul reasserts that it is by faith alone that one could truly know Jesus. It is entirely possible for you and me to fall into the same trap. I think that we struggle at times to understand faith. We feel the need to justify ourselves by works so that God will love us. We fail to recognize that God loves Jesus and it is in Jesus alone that we find acceptance before God the Father. Paul gives the example of Abraham, who didn’t have the law, so that could not be his basis of acceptance before God. It was through Abrahams faith:
just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? (Galatians 3:6 ESV)
that God accepted him. The law that God gave to Moses was supposed to help us see our sin, to see that we could not attain righteousness apart from the grace of God. So, here we stand and here the Galatians stood. Waffling back and forth between works and faith. Isaiah reminds us:
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6 ESV)
The Law and our works were never able to save us from our sin. Only Jesus can do that. The law was meant to point us to Christ. The good that we do now is an outpouring of thankfulness for what Christ has done.
Christ is the fulfillment of the law, He is the fulfillment of the covenant, all God’s promises are yes and amen in Christ. When God, by His grace, saves us we receive Christ. Faith in Christ levels the playing field. God’s salvation does not depend on what caste, class, race, or gender we are. We are all one in Christ.
Associate Pastor Jonathan Welch