Summary: These are two daily devotional readings based on Proverbs 1:8-19. The first is focused on honoring parents. The second exhorts us to stay away from those who take advantage of innocent people.
Listen, my son, to the instruction of your father and do not abandon the law of your mother,
for they shall be a garland of favor on your head and necklaces around your neck.
Why do we rebel?
Establishing Independent Identity
Part of it is we want to grow up. We want to be and to be treated as no longer children.
This is a healthy part of entering adulthood. But at some point we should grow out of needing to grow up.
Establishing a Group Identity
On the opposite end of this is the desire to differentiate ourselves from the older generation and to identify with people our own age. Of all motivations, this is probably the most foolish, but I’ll set that aside for a moment. This, also, is natural. If we seek independent identity from the previous generation, we’ll still seek identity somewhere, and that is as likely to be with peers as anywhere else. The problem is, peers often know no better than we. In fact, many know less. So pursuing peerage is often a doomed endeavor.
Either of these motivations comes from insecurity. We feel weak, or freakish, or childish, or small and want to be strong, and accepted, and adult, and big. So we rebel. I think few of us rebel against the wisdom of our parents as a matter of principle, but that can be a motivation based on insecurity too.
A Different Kind of Rebellion
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Whoever does the will of the my Father in heaven is my . . . mother”.
Jesus was all about the Father’s will.
God’s purposes, His wisdom, His ways were all Jesus was interested in.
Another reason to rebel against the wisdom of ancestors, and one which I think Solomon would have agreed with, is to choose God’s will and wisdom above all else, even when it puts us at odds with our dearest friends and family. This is true spiritual wisdom. And in pursuing His will and doing things His way we become wise. We attain the identity we really most desire when we’re least worried about attaining it-as we pursue our LORD His character becomes our character. His will becomes our will. His way of thinking becomes our way of thinking.
And, indeed, we become wise.
Prayer for Today
Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father and I, Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Let Your wisdom be in our hearts.
Teach us to hear the wisdom of our parents
And above all others, be, indeed, our Father,
Who teaches us all wisdom and understanding
In the name of Your Son, or Lord, Jesus, the wisest of all because He obeyed You,
My son, if sinners open the way for you, do not consent.
If they say
“Come with us! Let’s hide and wait for blood, let’s ambush the innocent for no reason. Let’s swallow them up like Sheol (the grave), like those who fall into the pit live and whole. We’ll find all precious possessions and fill our houses with the takings. Throw in your lot with us and we’ll all have one account.”
My son, do not walk with them in the way. Keep your foot from their path.
For their feet run to evil and hurry to spill blood.
It is certainly useless to spread the net where the bird can see and spread its wings.
And they wait for their own blood, they set an ambush for their lives
So are the ways of everyone that seeks gain by violence. The one who gains wealth that way loses his life. Proverbs 1:10-19
Two true stories from Bangalore
I know a man
Who was enlisted to help a family work on some of the legal issues associated with a piece of property. The property is two acres that belong to a ministry that trains pastors for urban and village ministry. The man said he needed power of attorney to transact work whenever the Director of the ministry was out of town. The Director agreed and signed over power of attorney. The man used that certificate to sign the property over to his own name. The two acres in that neighborhood in Bangalore would sell in the current market for about 28 crores rupees, about 4 million dollars US. The ministry has battled this issue in court for more than 8 years.