Solomon’s provision for his son is priceless. Priceless because it constantly refreshes the heart and mind as to what true Christianity looks like, as opposed to dead religion by whatever name. The religion of Christ is living and vital and affects the entire person. It kindles love in their hearts, compassion, tenderness – all the while checking cowardice and instability at the same time. Christianity is a religion fueled by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. A Spirit who is with us everywhere at all times, committed to bestowing upon us the highest honor and gift which can be given – to made more like the Son of the Living God. It is with that backdrop in mind that we re-visit a few more portions of Proverbs 10 today.
Proverbs 10:17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
Comment: Notice that this verse does not imply that we are to enjoy reproof and correction. But what it does note is that the wise, listen to sound instruction, and that when we reject correction and admonition, such rejection goes beyond just ourselves – we lead others astray. For it is certain that those who do not accept correction and rebuke, invariably are trying to lead others in some way. They want always to be the leader – if only of themselves – and never a follower. And they will certainly lead those astray around them – after the same path they are on.
The truth is, one who cannot receive reproof or instruction, is one who is not fit to lead – for they will lead others only after themselves, and not after Christ. This again is a timely word to those who hold any position of authority – in the home or in the world. As a parent, if you are beyond correction, you will lead your children down that same path eventually. As an employer or manager, if no one on your team can point out an error without their heads being bitten off, you will lead that group into misery.
Father, forgive me for the hardness of heart and the pride that has so often made it difficult for others to reprove me, and for me to receive it. Teach me the gentle ways of Christ.
Proverbs 10:18 The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.
Comment: There is a strange perversity among Christians, that knowing we are not to live in hate with others, we will simply cover that hatred up with nice speech and false friendliness. And this, we think, is a high road. It is a deception. It is to live a destructive lie. What then, ought we give full vent to our hatred? No. That is not the correct answer either. The answer is to not deny that hatred is in your heart. Rather, it is to acknowledge it, so you can repent of it. Knowing that while you must acknowledge your sin – at the same time, you cannot give permission to it. To act upon it compounds the sin. Confess and repent before you break out into sin which harms others beyond yourself. To fail in this, will lead into a most horrible duplicity. You will imagine that you can harbor hatred in your heart, while outwardly pretending there is no hatred there – and then find yourself in fact uttering slanders behind the back of the object of your hatred (either inwardly or to others) – which renders you the fool you genuinely are.
Proverbs 10:25 When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever.
Comment: Trials and storms weed out the imposters. Note well, such “tempests” come to the righteous and the wicked alike. And they prove which is which – when before, they might have been indistinguishable. We often want to spare one another trials and tribulations. The sentiment is proper enough, compassion bids us to want no one to suffer. And yet, trials and tribulations not only do come, they must come. This is how the genuine are proved, and the false uprooted. In Jesus’ parable of the soils in Mark 4, each soil is subjected to the same sun, the same rain and the same wind. The soil that is fruitful, is the one that endures, not the one spared the exposure. So it is with spiritual fruitfulness. The tempest tries us all. And in the final tempest of God’s judgment upon sin, the wicked will in fact be no more, but the righteous in Christ will know eternal safety. Which are you?