Obedience requires babysitters.
NOVEMBER 29, 2023
Obedience requires babysitters and I’ll explain, on this edition of Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer for the program, and our host is author and seminary professor Steve Brown. The church has suffered under do more, try harder religion for too long, and Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.
Thank you Matthew. We’re studying the Book of Proverbs, and if you’ve been with us the last couple of days, you’re probably either angry at me or have sat down and written a letter to me, and I keep reminding you what Grady Wilson would often say when he was preaching. He would say something controversial, then he’d hold up his Bible. And I’ve seen him do it a bunch of times, and he would say, Look, I didn’t say it, God said it. And that makes it different. It really does, and we’ve been talking about human sexuality. How Freud was a twit, but even a broken clock is right twice a day, and Freud was right about the importance and the power of human sexuality. And the writer of the Book of Proverbs would rise up and say, Right on, you’ve got something there, let’s talk about it. And he does. Now, we’ve spent some time looking at the woman who entices the man into sin. And frankly, that happens. Sometimes it’s the other way around because we are sinners and we need to be careful in these areas that are addressed so often by Scripture. But also, there’s some positive things in Proverbs too. And the 31st chapter is a wonderful chapter. In fact, I’m going to take the time to read that to you, Proverbs 31:10 through 31.
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her, so she will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ship; she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants vineyards. She girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good. And her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor. Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing, she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Oh my. Please note, for those of you who are sure that women should stay home all the time, that she was a businesswoman. Now, I’m not giving a brief for women going into business or for women staying home, but I just want to point out that we are reading in that passage about a woman who does well in business, far better than her husband does in business. And in fact, he gets to sit at the gates and discuss philosophy and theology and the law with his friends, while she is in the marketplace, earning a living for the entire family. I’m just saying. When I was teaching Proverbs in a church that I served one time, a friend of mine came to me and said, look, when you get to Proverbs 31, I’m out of here. I’m not going to be here that Sunday. And I said, why is that? She says, all that book, that chapter, makes me feel guilty. And then she said something that was really funny. She said, when you teach it, for heaven’s sake, tell the congregation that this wasn’t all women, it was a bunch of different women, and if it was one woman, she spent a fortune on babysitters. I get that, I really do. But what we see happening here is the praise of women. You know that when women’s suffrage came, it didn’t come out of the blue. Men are, by and large, stronger than women, and we get our way, and we got our way for years. But when women got the vote, you know where that came from? It didn’t come from wise, discerning people. It came from the Bible itself. In fact, every significant social movement of our time finds its roots in the Scripture from the God of the universe who cared enough to let us know what’s important and what’s not. You think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday and sometimes when I have time, I take some time to answer some of your questions. Pete will be in on Friday, and we’ll spend the entire time on the program answering your questions. We love to get your questions, by the way. We love to sit around and talk about them, to check the Scriptures, to find out for ourselves before we say anything publicly. So, feel free to ask your question. I’ve said it often, the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask. And by the way, you can ask your question, 24 7, by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s open 24 7, follow instructions, record your question, and sometimes we put your voice on the air. Or you can send your questions to
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Okay, let’s turn to one or two of these questions. This is an e-mail. Steve, does God discipline or chasten his children? Yes, he does. Hebrews clearly teaches that, but he does it as a Father. One of the reasons that I don’t teach that passage in Hebrews very often is that if I begin to give an inch, congregations will take a mile. And pretty soon you have people teaching that if you do something bad, God will give you cancer. If you fail in a certain area where God has been specific, you’re going to get jungle rot, or go through a divorce, or your children won’t be faithful. That’s nonsense. The writer of Hebrews is very careful in Hebrews 12 to say that God is a father, and fathers discipline their children. Now, good fathers, and God is the goodest father, the best father, good fathers always are clear when they discipline the reason for the discipline. I can’t tell you the number of people that I’ve talked to who are going through a hard time who believe that God is disciplining them, but don’t have the foggiest idea why. That’s not God. That’s just bad stuff that happens, because a good father lets you know. Child, I’m going to give you time out. I’m going to spank your posterior. I’m going to withdraw some things you like from you, because and read my lips, this is going to be good for you. And I think God does that too. I think if you’re disciplined or chastened by God, you don’t have to sit around and wonder what in the world is going on. And secondly, a good father, and again, God is the goodest. I know. Don’t send me letters. That’s not a word. But God is a good father, and discipline is not something that goes on. That’s abuse. Abusive fathers continue, and they do it forever, and you never understand why or the reason that your father hates you and hurts you so much. God of the universe doesn’t do that. He loves us deeply and completely, but he knows when there are things in our lives that are destructive and dark and painful and that will hurt the people that we love, he often will chasten, will discipline, will move in our lives in a way to make us better than we have been and more faithful than we were. Now, I’ve got to say one other thing. Sometimes God does that, and sometimes God doesn’t. But you trust Him because He’s wise, and He’s good, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. Hey guys, I’m out of time. I’m out of here. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.