Peanut Gallery: During the month of June we are reading through the Book of Proverbs, one chapter per day. “Growing in Character” is the theme; each day we will look for practical advice on living a wise and godly life in this present age.
I recommend that you begin by reading through the entire chapter for the day yourself (a link will be included, see below.) There is something for everyone in the Book of Proverbs. I will focus on what speaks to me in the chapter and follow that theme for the day. But the verse that speaks to me, on any particular day, may be different from the wisdom God has for you… and you don’t want to miss out.
Growing in Character: Proverbs 24
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening sentence and prayer
One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
Open my eyes, Lord, to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. Psalm 119:18 (NLT)
A reading from Proverbs: Proverbs 24:11-12 (NLT)
Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
A reading from the Gospels: Luke 4:18-19 (NLY)
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
THE CRIME OF NEGLIGENCE – Excerpted from Maclaren’s Expositions
Proverbs 24:11 – Proverbs 24:12.
The text… deals with the fault which besets us all in our relations and in life: and the wholesome truths which it utters apply to our duties in regard to… every misery within our reach. They speak of the murderous cruelty and black sin of negligence to save any whom we can help from any sort of misery which threatens them. They appear to me to suggest four thoughts which I would now deal with:-
I. The crime of negligence.
Not to use any power is a sin; to omit to do anything that we can do is a crime: to withhold a help that we can render is to participate in the authorship of all the misery that we have failed to relieve. He who neglects to save a life, kills…. Violence slays its thousands, but supine negligence slays its tens of thousands.
II. The excuse of negligence.
The shuffling plea, ‘Behold we knew it not,’ is a cowardly lie…. We are bound to know, and the most ignorant of us does know, and cannot help knowing, enough to condemn our negligence…. In so far as the excuse ‘we knew it not’ is true, it is no excuse, but an indictment. It lays bare the true reason of the criminal negligence as being a yet more criminal callousness as to the woe and loss in which such crowds of men whom we ought to recognise as brethren are sunken.
III. The condemnation of negligence.
The great example of God is put forward in the text as the contrast to all this selfish negligence…. God ‘takes pain,’ so to speak, to see after His children. Are they not bound to look lovingly on each other? God seeks to know them. Are they not bound to know one another? Lofty disregard of human suffering is not God’s way. Is it ours?
No less eloquently does the other name which is here applied to God rebuke our negligence. ‘He preserveth thy soul.’ The strongest motive for seeking to save others is that God has saved us….
IV. The judgment of negligence.
‘Doth not He render to every man according to his works?’ There is such a judgment both in the present and in the future for Christian men as for others…. We rob ourselves of blessed sympathies and of the still more blessed joy of service, and of the yet more blessed joy of successful effort, by our indolence and our negligence…. And if we stretch our view to take in the life beyond, what gladness can match that of the man who shall enter there with some who will be his joy and crown of rejoicing in that day, and of whom he shall be able to say, ‘Behold I and the children whom Thou hast given me!’
If there is one tear we could have dried and didn’t, or one wound we could have healed and didn’t, that is a sin; if we could have lightened the great heap of sorrow by one grain and didn’t, that is a sin; and if there be one soul that perishes which we might have saved and didn’t, the negligence is not merely the omission of a duty, but the doing of a deed which will be ‘rendered to us according to our works.’
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Categories: Life in Christ