This week in Proverbs is about discipline. Discipline is necessary because our hearts are wicked and inclined in the wrong direction. Through discipline comes wisdom and from wisdom comes righteousness and peace. In all this we must remember that Christ is our wisdom and righteousness and the Bringer of Peace.
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
The prophets of the Old Testament were God’s preachers bringing to the people of God God’s words and instructions. When the prophets were not present or were unfaithful, the people turned to other gods and engaged in outrageous behavior. God condemned the unfaithful shepherds of Israel who did not care for the flock (cf. Isaiah and Jeremiah).
Tenth has been blessed with faithful shepherds whose preaching has instructed well the congregation and ministered to those beyond its walls. Tenth is declaring that prophetic vision to those in Philadelphia and around the world.
“How powerful is the faithful preaching of God’s word! Through it, God can tame an entire society. Where it is missing, every form of evil is embraced.”
Before your loud AMEN. Look at the last part of the verse: blessed is he who keeps the law.
Preachers have a great responsibility as they handle the Word of God, but the preached to also have a responsibility to keep the law. We can take what we have for granted and become cold in our theology. We can become academics that work at getting our doctrine right, but our hearts are not lifted up in praise to God for who he is and what he is doing. We can become insular and not seek to know our neighbors and share what is ours.
Blessed is he who keeps the law.
Reflection for Today
"Hear, [O Tenth]: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children.