Friday, September 30, 2011

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday October 2, 2011

(We must follow GOD, even in an unjust world)
(Proverbs 29:16-27)

G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “For whatever is or is not true, this one thing is certain, “We are not what we were meant to be”. We are that which was created, and we are the benefactors of the brilliance and largesse of the CREATOR. Men and women were made by GOD to have dominion over the works of HIS hands, here on earth. But instead, we have become creatures who are frustrated by our own, self-imposed circumstances, defeated by our temptations, and surrounded by our own weaknesses. And so, it is into this seemingly hopeless situation that GOD sends us HIS only begotten SON, so that whosoever believes in HIM will not perish, but rather, will have everlasting life. JESUS helps us to overcome an otherwise, saddened and doomed state of existence, and HE helps us to understand, and become, what we ought to be.
In any organization where there is ignorance or indifference towards GOD, crime and sin will run amok. Anarchy prevails and law and order is swept aside. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a government, business, church, or private family, when we allow wickedness to thrive, we provide fuel for a downward spiral towards immorality, and a gradual slide towards an unstructured existence much like we already see developing today, in every area of our society (Proverbs 29:16a). GOD did not mean for this to be so.
GOD has never been, is not now, nor will HE ever be a captive of HIS OWN world, the people of HIS world, or, our opinions about HIS nature. GOD is free, and HE is subject to no one’s will but HIS OWN. HE is not bound by our understanding, nor is HE bound by our lack of understanding. The good news remains, however, that GOD is still in charge, and HIS plan is moving right along as scheduled. And one day, just as promised, JESUS will return and take all believers unto HIMSELF, and HE will mete out punishment to all those who rebelled against him, and dedicated their lives to the hindrance of HIS plan for mankind. And the righteous will witness the downfall of the unrighteous (Proverbs 29:16b).
Law and order really begins at home. How we discipline and rear our children, for most part, will determine how much peace of mind we will be able to enjoy in our latter years (Proverbs 29:17). As parents, we have to take charge of our households from day one, and not allow our children to go unrestrained, lacking any semblance of disciplinary measures during their formative years. There may not be much we can do about little David down the street, but the parents of little David certainly can.
In Proverbs 29:18, the word “revelation” refers to the messages from GOD that, are received by HIS prophets. Public, and private morality, depends heavily on how well we know the Word of GOD, and how well we adhere to HIS laws. In other words, in order for this nation and its individuals to function well, we have to, first, know GOD’ ways, and then, keep HIS laws and directives that HE has set before us. Without GOD’s Word, people abandon themselves to their own sinful ways, but obedience to GOD’s Word, ultimately brings joy to our lives.
In Proverbs 29:19, Solomon warns us that, in the workplace, as well as in the home, mere words will not always get the job done. There must also be some kind of disciplinary actions in place to motivate those who refuse to follow directions, even though they understand clearly what their job calls for. It is that way with GOD also. If we are not willing to follow HIS directions, HE already has a list of disciplinary actions that HE will surely execute, whenever HIS will is disobeyed (Deuteronomy 28). If we pamper our subordinates, or our children, it will likely cause us grief and frustration in the end (Proverbs 29:21). However, when dealing with problems of insubordination in the workplace, or in the home, we must be careful to listen before we speak. Speaking hastily, or in anger, and being prideful and conceited, promises us less hope than a fool has. That kind of attitude, can and will, bring one more trouble than they originally had (Proverbs 29:20 & 22-23).
In Proverbs 29:24 Solomon warns against aiding and abetting in criminal acts such as theft. In fact, the accomplice of any criminal act automatically becomes his own enemy simply because of his involvement in the crime. He can’t even testify truthfully without implicating himself, and he can’t remain silent by pleading the “Fifth Amendment”, because, then, he’ll be assumed guilty by everyone, for sure.
In Proverbs 29:25 the phrase “is kept safe” comes from the Hebrew verb “sagab”, and it means “to be inaccessibly high or exalted”. When we fear what man can do to us more than we fear GOD, we’ve already ensnared ourselves mentally, giving ourselves over to the control of someone who is not in control themselves. Our trust in the LORD is the only thing that can bring us safety. When we fear the LORD, we don’t have to fear anything else, because nothing and no one else can gain “access” to us. Security in GOD removes the intimidation of man and makes us “inaccessible” to anyone, or anything, that is not in GOD’s will. Respect, reverence, and trust in GOD, is liberating, not confining. GOD can turn the harm intended by others into good, for those who trust and obey HIM.
Oftentimes we are surprised by the ineptness of the “human justice system”. We go to human authorities to obtain justice, but, in reality, there is no guarantee that justice will be done. True satisfying justice can only come from GOD, and HE will certainly make things right in the end (Proverbs 29:26). The reason why man’s justice is imperfect is because, man himself is imperfect, and therefore, we can’t judge other men simply because we’re all “men under judgment”. An unjust person is an abomination to those who seek to be upright, and obeys the law. A person who seeks to be upright is an abomination to those who are unjust, and are always seeking out new ways to break the law (Proverbs 29:27).

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander


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