The Fear of the Lord and the Disciplined Life

B Whoever is generous [gracious] to the poor lends to the Lord (v. 17a).

C   Discipline your son, for there is hope (v. 18a).

C1 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you   deliver [rescue] him, you will only have to do it again (v. 19).

B1 A poor man is better than a liar (vv. 22b).

B and B1 give complementary meanings. The adjective, “generous” (Heb. hanan), means, “to show favor; be gracious.” (BDB) Do you show favor to the poor? If you favor the poor, you lend to the Lord. You make God your debtor. Because God is indebted to you, He will pay you back (v. 17b).

In B1, better to be poor than to be dishonest. Think about it for a moment.

Andres Cabanit, a 68-year-old taxi driver, of Bgy. Kalunasan, Cebu City, returned P1 million worth of valuables left in the cab by a Norwegian national last Aug. 2006. However, Cabanit instructed his daughter Susan to do it. Susan . . . went to the radio station to return the blue bag containing two laptop computers, a video camera, a digital camera, three cell phones, a navigator, passport and other important documents and P58,000 cash. . . .

Susan admitted that her father refused to return the bag personally because he was afraid. Her father only divulged the information a day after when he got drunk.

The radio station contacted Rolf Tommeraz, 61, who later claimed his belongings. Tommeraz gave the family of Cabanit P20,000 as reward. Susan cried upon receiving the money. She told how poor their family is and they were tempted to keep the items and cash. They did not expect the reward.[1]

Are you poor but honest? Better to be poor but honest, than to be dishonest. Better to be a poor man than to be a lying man. Poverty is better than no integrity.

C and C1 concern the wrongdoing of a son or an angry man. The son is to be disciplined. The angry man is to pay the penalty. It speaks about suffering the consequences of your actions. If you do wrong, be ready to face the consequences.

Now if you discipline the wrongdoing son, there is hope. But if you do not discipline him or the angry man, if you deliver or rescue him, you will only have to do it again. He will do it again, and you will have to save him again. If you keep on saving him, he will just stress you out. But if you correct him, there is hope. He may stop doing it, giving you peace of mind.

How many times have we saved our kids from discipline? Save them from correction, and you will have to do it again. They will just do it again, causing us stress.

This is a good lesson about church discipline. If a member commits a serious sin, we must discipline him. The object is to restore him. But restoration requires repentance. Repentance requires discipline. He must pay the penalty for his actions. But rescue a sinning member, and you’ll have to do it again.


[1] Michelle, “Cabbie yields foreigner P1M valuables,” Aug. 9, 2006. Cited Feb. 4, 2012. Online: http://manilajournal.com/ 2006/08/09/cabbie-yields-foreigner%E2%80%99s-p1m-valuables/.

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