August 8, 2016
Proverbs 1 expresses the divergent ways of the righteous and the wicked. The gospel opens up an added view beyond the Proverb writer.
Jesus is the Redeemer.
Although the natural way is for us to reap what we sow—particularly evil—Jesus can and does intervene. He spares us from our own selves. The prayers of the righteous are effectual. God in His sovereignty has chosen to use the prayers of people to effect change in the wayward.
Why is it that these things happen—that a child can be raised up how he or she should go and doesn’t do it?
Two reasons, I think:
1. Each of us needs to be tried in some measure to determine before God, man, and himself whether or not he believes. It must be settled one way or another which way he will pursue. Sometimes the choice for God doesn’t come right away. Sometimes, it doesn’t come at all. Yet, it’s a decision that must be made. It’s our purpose for being.
2. The second is like the first, but it is a matter of trust. Though the decision has been made to follow God and a life is lived so—perhaps for many years—the waywardness of others, the struggles of life, the common evil among us—all can put us to the test. When life goes south, where do we go? Are we drawn to Jesus? Or in despair do we flounder?
It, too, is a testing but it’s beyond the decision to follow Christ. That has been determined previously.
At the end of the road, at the end of agony beyond description, it comes to a matter of trust. In those times we learn much about ourselves. We recognize that much of what we thought doesn’t hold true. And, at the end of it all, we simply choose to trust—and carry on through a choice of acceptance of what we cannot understand and pressing forward in a mist that is difficult to navigate.
Proverbs 1 expresses the natural course of life. The gospel presents the redeemer—Jesus. And where there is a redeemer, there is hope—for ourselves and for the wayward among us.
So, we trust. And we pray.
As long as there is a Redeemer, there is hope.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything