Proverbs – News From The Source – Part 4
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall bean ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9
From the time we are born our first teachers are our fathers and mothers. The lion’s share of our time from birth to 3 years old is spent with our mothers. What she has of knowledge and wisdom is passed along to us daily. Studies have shown that hearing the voices of our mothers and fathers, speaking to us words of life and encouragement, reading the Scriptures, singing and worshiping with us helps to define who we are and is essential to developing acute cognitive and verbal skills. Children’s minds are designed by God to be imprinted with knowledge and overtime to learn to think critically so they know how to discern between right and wrong, good and evil, and life and death.
God has charged us to know the Scriptures and to pass along the knowledge and wisdom we have learned to our children.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:6
If we will be wise we will both hear and heed the instruction and the law given to us from our parents. Specifically, the Law of Moses and practical instruction in that law is what Solomon referred to. For us as believers now the “law” that we must hear, heed and pass on to our children is the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4
The Law of sin and death is the law of the Old Testament with its detailed rules, regulations and ordinances, including animal blood sacrifices which had to be done year after year upon penalty of death, but Jesus came fulfilling the demands of that law and gave us a new law based on life in Him.
“And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Hebrews 10:11-16
Now under the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus we are summoned to offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to God for the work of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, which He did for us once to redeem us from sin, now and for everyone who will receive it for all time. So, we bring the sacrifices of praise to Him in our worship and we make the extended sacrifice of doing good by sharing with all the blessings and the message of His grace toward us to the end that the world will know that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
I find it remarkable that so many Christians, in recent years, particularly, have forsaken the regular gathering together at least weekly for services of worship. And further that even among those who do attend services regularly or with some level of frequency there are so few who actually participate in the singing and demonstrations of praise and worship that God has clearly set forth in His Word for us to do. [1 Timothy 2:8; Psalm 100; Psalm 150:4; Genesis 24:52; 2 Samuel 6:16;]
Under the Old Law the people had to adhere to a rigorous set sacrifices, requirements and regulations daily. Jesus made Himself our sacrifice through the horror of taking on Himself all our sin and dying a cruel, painfully excruciating death so that we could go free.
Now the only sacrifices we are commanded to bring to Him are praise, thanksgiving and sharing the gospel with hospitality. Yet, fewer and fewer, year after year are hearing or heeding His call. Nevertheless the summons from Heaven still goes out.
“Come unto me, allyethat labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yokeiseasy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Now God has placed gifts of ministry in the Church, the assembly of believers, for instruction, edification, exhortation and revelation in the knowledge of God.
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:27-28
How functional can a body be if its parts are not joined together in a healthy relationship for full strength and efficiency of activity? Likewise, how strong can the church be if its members, each uniquely gifted are not all assembled together regularly to bring their knowledge, wisdom and gifts to bless and strengthen the whole assembly?
Consider these passages of Scripture.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:1-2
“Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.” Psalm 107:32
“Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.” Psalm 149:1
Also implied in 1 Corinthians 11:18-33 the apostle Paul refers to the church regularly coming together for worship. We are called to come together for worship and for the exhortation and edification of one another. [Ephesians 5:15-21]
When the body doesn’t gather together with one another on a regular basis we can lose strength and we can individually become more vulnerable to the works of the thief who seeks to kill and destroy us and steal the knowledge of the Lord from our hearts.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”J ohn 10:10
So, then it is wise and prudent, even essential to our faith and spiritual, mental and physical well being to hear the call of the Lord to heed it and to grow in grace as we learn from one another led and instructed in the ways of God by the Holy Spirit revealing the truth of the Word to us.
And this is the promised blessing.
“For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” Proverbs 1:9
The Amplified Bible puts it this way.
“For they are a [victor’s] chaplet (garland) of grace upon your head and chains and pendants [of gold worn by kings] for your neck.” Proverbs 1:9 AMP
This is life and that more abundantly. This is walking in the favor of the Lord and this is the rest that we can enter into in Christ Jesus our Lord as we are made kings and priests unto our God.
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:10
Have you ever noticed that people who live righteously, who spend a lot of their time communing with the Lord in the Word and prayer seem to have a radiance about them that is not of opulence and physical adornment but of beauty and a brightness that shines with a sense of inner peace and outward joy? This is a reward of hearing and heading the Word of wisdom from God.