Mighty God, wise beyond my comprehension, holy beyond my understanding, I bless You and praise You today.
Read PROVERBS 6:6-19
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The disciple follows the Master but never follows him alone. Disciples belong together in an indestructible fellowship” (David J. Bosch).
Biblical faith is essentially corporate. The Old Testament assumes mutual care in extended families. In the New Testament, Christians are interdependent, “members one of another” (Rom. 12:5). Identity is found in relationships. For this to work, each person must play their part and act responsibly before God and toward others. The challenge of Proverbs against laziness is to be understood in this context. Life in community is the consequence of creation. God made us for one another; his wisdom teaches us to live together. We live out of our God-given inner character and motivation. The ant is a communal creature which plays its part without any ant supervisors telling it what to do. It doesn’t make individual provision for itself alone; it works with others to provide for its whole community. Sluggards who won’t lift a hand to help themselves or others need to learn from God’s creation. Laziness or industriousness gives evidence of differing inner characters. We live out the contents of our hearts (14,18), as Jesus said (Mark 7:14-23).
God is not indifferent to human behavior. He detests some kinds of behavior (16). Ungodliness is incompatible with, and cannot survive, his presence. The seven sins listed are all sins against others. God created humans for community and will judge those who destroy community (12-19) or who simply fail to play their part (6-11). The little parable about the ant has a sting in its tail! Modern Western people think of themselves as autonomous individuals. Many see God as a benevolent “first cause” who does not interfere. Proverbs’ great distinction between wisdom and folly has a highly contemporary application!
Evaluate your relationships in the light of the challenges and admonitions found in today’s passage. Plan to make any needed changes.
Lord, help me not to be indifferent to things You detest. Give me, instead, a passion for the things that You love.
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