The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 14:11-20 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, And the end of joy may be grief. The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied with his. The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps. A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated. The naive inherit foolishness, But the sensible are crowned with knowledge. The evil will bow down before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous. The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many.
As you work your way through the pages of scripture, what you will see unfolding is a grand tale of two families on two very different trajectories. Each family can be identified by who their representative is: one family living under the headship of Adam, the other of the Lord Jesus Christ. One family toils away vainly, trusting in the work of their hands, building a kingdom grounded in the world, which is passing away, while the other family trusts in the One Who said “It is finished”. The family of Adam is one who is born of the flesh, whose works are evident: “Immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (Gal 5: 19-21).
Conversely, those in the family of Christ, born of the Spirit, can be recognized by their fruits, “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control” (Gal 5: 22-23). While all found in the household of Adam die, 1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us “Even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
The Proverb today, Chapter 14 verse 11, states in unambiguous language that those who turn from God and seek their own way will be brought to ruin, while those who look to the Lord Jesus Christ will live. The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish.
Matthew Henry had this to say regarding the contrast between these two families:
1. Sin is the ruin of great families: The house of the wicked, though built ever so strong and high, shall be overthrown, shall be brought to poverty and disgrace, and at length be extinct. His hope for heaven, the house on which he leans, shall not stand, but fail in the storm; the deluge that comes will sweep it away.
2. Righteousness is the rise and stability even of mean families: Even the tabernacle of the upright, though movable and despicable as a tent, shall flourish, in outward prosperity if Infinite Wisdom see good, at all events in graces and comfort, which are true riches and honours.”
The household of Adam is built upon a foundation of sinking sand, with its members trusting in their weak arm of flesh, fallible wisdom, and in a savior that is not the Christ of the scriptures. The cares of this world, the trials and temptations of this life, and the flaming darts of satan easily shake and destroy those found in Adam. Those found in this house stumble and “there is not another to lift him up” (Ecc 4:10).
Those in Christ Jesus however have no such worries. Jesus says of those in His house that “no one can snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:29). As Christian’s we have received the Holy Spirit of adoption, by which we are able to cry out “Abba! Father”! As Christians, because of our faith which was granted to us as a gift, we can rightfully say that we are Abraham’s descendants, because like Father Abraham, we believe and it is accounted to us as righteousness. While those living under the headship of Adam perish, those in the family of God flourish, are fruitful, and can rest assured that the gates of hell will not prevail.
The distinctions between the household of Adam, and that of God are clear, and here is the caveat. Each and every one of us who calls upon the name of the Lord, who have been adopted into the family of God: work with, live with, and have relations with members of that other household which has Adam as the head. Each and every one of us, whether in our workplace, our homes, or in the marketplace have entanglements with those whose household will be destroyed because of sin. In the words of Francis Schaffer, “How should we then live”?
God says that we must be separate, to come out from among them. “Be Holy because I am Holy”, says God.
We are called to expose the unfruitful works of darkness, rather than participate in them.
In our separation from the things of this world, our pursuit of holiness (without which no one will see the Lord), and our exposing of the sin in our different spheres of life, we must remember above all else to have faith in the Lord Jesus, and to love the Lord our God, and our neighbor as ourselves. Without faith it is impossible to please God, and without love, we are nothing more than noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.
In our workplaces, this may look like you doing all of your duties without grumbling and disputing. It may mean you as a servant submitting to the authority of an incompetent, tyrannical boss. At home, it may mean you fathers disciplining your children despite your wife telling you to ease up, that it was just a little disobedience. Or perhaps it means that the family peace all your relatives long for, so that thanksgiving and Christmas pass by smoothly, gets disrupted because you as a man of God speak truth and expose sin in the camp. Where in your life might there be compromise in this area? How might you be declaring “peace peace” with the household of Adam, having one foot in his camp, and attempting to keep the other in Christ’s?
If you are able to, please kneel as we pray to our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus our Savior.
Heavenly Father, We long for peace. Each and every son of Adam who ever lived desires peace above all else. As fallen men, women, boys, and girls, we sought refuge in the perishable things of this world: wealth, food, clothes, relationships, hobbies, careers, and the like. As lost men and women, we pursued the desires of the flesh, our sinful human nature, to no end. A vain pursuit. But now, as your children, we have access to the peace which passes all understanding. Father, please help us to remember that we have been transferred from the domain of darkness, into the kingdom of Your Glorious Son. Help us to remember, and live our lives in such a way that the light we have is used to expose the unfruitful works of darkness, rather than participate in them. Please be merciful to us Lord. Please strengthen us in the inner man for this battle, and forgive us where we fall short of your Glory. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Please join me in standing and listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Psalm 32:1-2 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 03/01/2020 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)