Proverbs 22:1-6

It seems nearly everyone wants to win the lottery. Some of those people even do the lottery!! But there are things that matter more than money (1; see 2 Corinthians 8:18). Our culture prizes cash too highly. ”A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.” The Message.  (2) A couple of days ago we were thinking about how Paul wanted there to be a level playing field in the church (2 Corinthians 8: 13-15). Here Proverbs makes the point that ”The rich and the poor shake hands as equals – GOD made them both!” There are practical implications for us in that very point and they should have a bearing on our giving and sharing. Let’s treat everyone with dignity and charity, knowing that they are made in the image of God.

”A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.” The Message. With wisdom there comes foresight (3). You have radar that picks up the planes flying towards you before they open fire and drop their bombs. But there are those who remain blissfully unaware of what is coming their way until they hear the roar of aircraft overhead and the sounds of explosions all around them.

The best and most rewarding life anyone can live is one of humbly walking before God and worshipping Him and honouring Him in all things (4; see 1:7; 3:1-4; 15:33; 21:21).

(5) is similar to (3). To live in the humble fear of God will mean avoiding dangers to your soul. You will keep your distance from whatever looks like sin or is likely to lead to it. ”The perverse travel a dangerous road, potholed and mud-slick; if you know what’s good for you, stay clear of it.” The Message.

(6; see Deut.6:7; Eph.6:4) It has often been said that parents have six years to help form a child’s character, and after that it may be too late. Of course, as someone rightly pointed out, with God it is never ”too late”. He can break into any person’s life at any age. But it is the duty of parents to do all they can, with God’s help, to launch their children into life well. This often quoted statement in Proverbs should not be regarded as an absolute promise, but rather as an expectation. Our children are not robots. It is possible for them to turn away or backslide. Most promises in the Bible are contingent on our faith and obedience, and this applies to children as well.

Prayer: I pray for all Christian parents to be given the wisdom and courage to train their children in the ways that please God.