The Story:This verse falls like a hammer on the nail of verses 1-12, thus constituting something of a break in this barrage of proverbs and common sense. Solomon has been plying Rehoboam with the truth of God – the way the world works. The world works according to the wisdom of God because the world is God’s and He rules over every aspect of it. All of life comes under the sovereignty of God, and it can only make sense and be fruitful when received and pursued according to God’s plan. What Solomon has been arguing in this chapter may be only a child’s proverbs, but they contain truth from God, and they cannot be resisted without peril. If Rehoboam thinks that somehow he can circumvent or ignore the divine plan, he has another thing coming. Solomon hammers away at his son’s conscience, hoping to avert God’s hammer crashing down on his eternal soul.
The Structure:In our secular age Christians can sometimes give the impression that the truths of Scripture are only true for those who believe them: “This is just what I believe.” This, of course, is not the case. That’s why, when we share the Gospel with someone, and they reject it, we shouldn’t simply smile and say, “Well, have a nice day.” We need to say something like this verse: You cannot resist the will of God; either you will serve Him or you will fall under His wrath (Rom. 1.18-32). We do the unbelieving world no favor when we allow them to think that they can reject God’s truth and ignore Him, and no harm will come their way. The hammer of the Lord is always coming down to secure His Word and His works. The lost of our secular age may not agree with or accept that, but they – like Rehoboam – need to hear it.
How do you feel about including the warning of judgment in your presentation of the Good News of Christ? Is the Gospel complete without such warnings? Why or why not?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Telling it Slant (1),” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.