Rebellion and Destruction- Proverbs- Week 10- Day 5

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Proverbs 29:18

Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

Proverbs 29:20

The passage we have considering this week, Proverbs 29:1-3 and 12-20, has had the theme of discipline. The first pattern we pointed out in the passage was the theme of leadership and discipline. Good leaders are self-disciplined and they bring discipline to those in their stewardship. That led us to a second pattern of discipline and blessing. The right kind of discipline brings freedom and not bondage. This pattern leads us to a third, the pattern of rebellion and destruction that we looked at yesterday. We can continue to see this pattern in today’s text.

In the first part of verse 18 we see an oft quoted statement. The word translated “vision” hear is speaking about revelation from God. Where there is no special revelation from God present the result is death. Why would there be no revelation from God? In one sense it may be an evangelism problem. The Word of God has not been taken to a group of people. In another sense it may be a leadership problem. There may be no Word of God because it is not being proclaimed by leaders. If it is not being proclaimed then it is not being obeyed. When revelation from God is ignored and disobeyed the result is death. Rebellion leads to destruction.

The man discussed in verse 20 is not called a fool. Even a wise person who speaks too quickly will come to the same result as the fool. The book of Proverbs consistently describes the results of the fool as destruction. How do we speak too quickly? We speak before we have thought through a matter biblically. We speak before we bathe a matter in prayer. We speak before we have all of the information that is needed to give an answer. In this there is disobedience and maybe even rebellion. Both have consequences. Rebellion leads to destruction.

Our thinking, speaking and acting must be informed by the wisdom contained in the Word of God. Our actions must be borne out of of a life of prayer. The opposite of rebellion is submission. Discipline is the consistent submission of our hearts and lives to the God who created us and redeemed us. We who know Christ as our Savior have been bought twice, and so we must embrace a life of discipline as a reasonable response to His grace.

There is a pattern of leadership and discipline, discipline and blessing, and rebellion and destruction. Make the decision to embrace discipline!

• How is your living and leadership being informed and affected by God’s revelation in His Word?
• Think about the last 24 hours. Have you been disciplined in your words? Are you speaking hastily?

Rebellion and Destruction- Proverbs- Week 10- Day 4

He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

Proverbs 29:1

When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.

Proverbs 29:16

There is a third pattern that we see in this passage that I want to observe. We have already seen the pattern of leadership and discipline. We have also seen the pattern of discipline and blessing. Today I want us to observe the pattern of rebellion and destruction.

In verse 1 we see a person in desperate need of correction. The leader is administering correction regularly. He is “oft reproved.” But in this verse the person is described as someone that “hardeneth his neck”. This is someone who is being stubborn to those in authority over them. It speaks of rebellion. Imagine the teenager with folded arms, slouched in the chair, rolling their eyes while saying, “I’m never doing that.” This is not the only iteration of this kind of person, but the example fleshes out the attitude. The ultimate end of an unteachable, stubborn person is that there will be the kind of destruction that cannot be fixed. There are choices that are made by rebellious, undisciplined people that can not be undone. There is a warning in this verse that rebellion leads to destruction.

Verse 16 is similar. A lack of discipline in one life can affect a lack of discipline in many other lives. We influence each other. Notice the pattern in the verse. More wicked people in a culture leads to more transgression, which leads to destruction viewed by those who are doing the right thing. This seems painfully relevant today. Discipline brings blessing, and rebellion leads to destruction.

A rebellious person is not teachable. They do not take correction. They never think they are wrong. The natural result is to walk right into the consequences of their foolishness.

The answer that one must employ if this is the case in their life is repentance. There must be a change of heart and change of mind about their attitude and response. Their must be a plea for forgiveness and a change of direction.

Is there an area of your life where you have become unteachable? Repentance is the right response!

Discipline and Blessing- Proverbs- Week 10- Day 3

The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

Proverbs 29:15

Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

Proverbs 29:17 

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Proverbs 29:18

The passage we are considering this week, Proverbs 29:1-3 and 12-20, has a theme of discipline. The first pattern we pointed out in the passage was the theme of leadership and discipline. Good leaders are self-disciplined and they bring discipline to those in their stewardship.

This leads us to a second pattern that we will see in this passage. There is a pattern of discipline and blessing seen here. The right kind of discipline brings freedom and not bondage. Let’s look at discipline and blessing in these three verses.

In verse 15 there is a connection between discipline and the blessing of wisdom. Here there are two “tools” of discipline- the rod and reproof. The rod was an implement of corporal punishment. It was a “paddle.” The Bible nowhere advocates child abuse. A small amount of pain, judiciously administered by a loving parent with the right heart attitude and the appropriate teaching (reproof), will bring about wisdom in the child over time. If you only use words and not action, the child will ignore you. Remember, “a servant will not be corrected by words” (v.19). If you use only the rod and not words, the child will begin to resent you because there is no love expressed. There will be confusion. But action-oriented discipline is powerful and effective when it is administered with the right reproof. The result is a wise child. Discipline brings blessing.

Verse 17 is similar. When a child is corrected through loving discipline it certainly takes effort. The result over time is a child that is self-disciplined and focused on others. This kind of child begins to honor and bless their parents. Again, discipline brings blessing.

Verse 18 has two contrasting sections. We will look at the first part later. Pay attention to that second part. The person that keeps the law revealed by God and meeted out by the leader experiences happiness. There is a freedom in self-discipline. There is an avoidance of pain and heartache when we do right. Discipline brings blessing.

We didn’t abandon the first pattern for this second pattern. These verses have leaders that administer discipline, but notice that second pattern. Discipline brings about blessing. Proverbs makes it clear that the parent that does not correct or discipline their child hates that child. Even if they have an affection for the child, the lack of discipline brings about the same result as the child whose parents have no affection for them. The pattern is clear. Loving leaders are self-disciplined and implement discipline because it brings about blessing.

Even if you are not a parent the principle applies. When we are disciplined it brings blessing.

• Parents, are you action oriented in the way you parent your child? Do you correct your kids? Are you loving in your approach to discipline?
• Where have you experienced blessing that was the result of discipline in your life?
• Is there an area of your life that you are finding difficulty because of a lack of discipline?

Leadership and Discipline- Proverbs- Week 10- Day 2

The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.

Proverbs 29:14

A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.

Proverbs 29:19

The theme of leadership and discipline continues in these two texts.

In verse 14 we see the responsibility of leadership to appropriately mediate over the circumstances of the poor. Dealing with those in poverty justly can be difficult. On the one hand, those who have little have been overlooked and abandoned historically because they have little to offer. It has been easy for leaders to take advantage of the poor because their lack of resources makes it difficult for them to defend or represent themselves well. On the other hand, those in poverty have been counted as virtuous because of their need. Their difficult situation has tempted leaders to overlook justice. Solomon states here that the one that is faithful in their ability to act justly will have a durable tenure. Leaders who have the discipline to judge faithfully, and meet out discipline justly to the most vulnerable, will have a leadership that is well established. That kind of leader is likely to have favor with God and man.

In verse 19 we see a principle about leadership and discipline that is very practical. If the only “tool” in the leader’s “toolbox” is words, the actions required for success may very well go undone. Words must be followed up with action. There is an old saying that goes something like, “People do not always do what you expect. They do what you inspect.” Many times we are obedient to do what we are told, but we are more likely to do what we are told if we know that we will be held accountable to do it at some point. There are some times where people are not motivated by inspiration, but rather by discomfort. It is the job of the leader to point out the discomfort of a lack of discipline. Discipline at that level must be in his toolbox if the group he leads is to succeed.

The connection between leadership and discipline is clear. Here are two principles:

  1. The effective and faithful leader is self-disciplined.
  2. The effective and faithful leader must lead people to self-discipline.

• Do you see self-discipline as bondage or freedom?
• Where do you need to grow in your own self-discipline?
• How can you “lean-in” to those who lead you when it comes to accountability?