By Pastor Brian
As I read through today’s chapter there were two verses that really caught my attention.
The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both.
So often we judge people by exterior measurements, as if money or skill or physical attractiveness or popularity are some kind of actual indicators of merit or value. Just last week I was able to take a boat tour of the canals around Fort Lauderdale Florida. As we passed multi-million dollar homes complete with multi-million dollar yachts tied up at the dock I thought, “I wonder what it is like to have that kind of money?” Well, this verse goes a long way to answering that question. Rich or poor; mansion or shack; yacht or canoe; we all have this in common, we were all created by God. We were all created with the same indescribable value and worth in His eyes. We were all created with the same purpose and destiny—to be reconciled with God and to live with Him and for Him! We all face the same enemies of sin and temptation and the brokenness they bring into our lives. When I am tempted to judge others (or myself) by some exterior standard I will do well to remember this—rich or poor, we all have this in common: the Lord made us all!
Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Here we find a promise that has two sides. First there is the promise that children who are set on the right path will not leave it. As a father of young children this is a promise I cling to! I desperately want to find ways to ensure that my children understand who God is and develop a strong faith of their own. But I also realize they have their own choices—there is no way for me to force them to develop the deep and robust faith that I want them to have. It gives me great comfort to know that God is on my side in this struggle! I can rest in the knowledge that God wants my children to love and serve Him more than I ever could! I trust that the goodness of God will permeate our home and leave a lasting mark on my children—that they will “taste and see that the Lord is good!”
On the other side of this promise is the responsibility to direct our children on the right path. How could anything take a more important place in my life than the spiritual condition of my family? But I already feel the pull of so many other things! It is so easy to get distracted and invest my energy in so many other things. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the urgent at the expense of the important—to assume there will always be time for family later. God help us to do all we can to direct our children in the right path.
I think this verse also gives us a glimpse of God’s heart. How we grieve over those who have left the path they were trained to walk! We spend countless hours praying that God will bring those prodigal sons and daughters home. I imagine this is how God must feel when any of His children turn their backs on Him! What loss and heartbreak He must feel at the rebellion of one of His precious children!