Wednesday, June 22, 2011

That Your Trust May Be In The Lord

"Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.

"That your trust may be in the Lord I have made them known to you today, even you" (Proverbs 22:17-19).

At first glance it may not seem apparent how making the words of the wise, their instructions and warnings, known to our children leads to their trusting the Lord. But here's what occurs to me: the trust in him comes because the root of wisdom and knowledge is the fear of him (Proverbs 1:7). Fearing him leads to trusting him.

So it's maybe like this: the moral commands of God in the Bible are ones we dare not fail to keep, but they are also ones we quickly learn we are not able to keep. This immediately brings about a crisis, a dilemma. The fear of the righteous Judge wells up. The consequences promised for our immorality, our lack of holiness, are fearful. We are undone.

But then good news appears. The Lawgiver and Judge has also become our merciful Advocate. In fact, our only rescue will come from the One who is holy and will judge our sins accordingly. He appears; we cling to his saving promise in hope and faith. There is no one else to rescue us from the consequences of our moral failure. We are saved by the Judge himself.

This is how Proverbs teaches fathers to appeal to their sons. The parents' own fear of the Lord leads to an urgent appeal to their children to incline their ears, hear (really hear) the words of the wise, to apply their hearts to knowledge. In doing so their children will learn, as the parents have learned, both the fear of the Lord and to trust the saving work of Christ on their behalf.

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