He Blesses The Home Of The Righteous
"The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous" (Proverbs 3:33).
When I was a child growing up, I never liked it when my parents told me to do something without giving me a reason why I should. Since I knew that disobedience would not bring a good response, I was usually compliant; however, I must confess that some complaining or whining usually preceded or accompanied the carrying out of some of my parents’ requests. Had I known then that their training was good for me and that I was learning to obey God by being obedient to my parents, I would probably have been a more willing servant. God always gives us reasons why we should obey His commands, and His reasons almost always contain benefits which will conform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
For example, let’s look at Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 6:1-3: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord…" Why? "…for this is right." To children, this sounds a lot like the response, "Because I told you to." However, Paul continues to relay God’s instruction through an Old Testament command: "‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’" In verse 1, God instructs children to be obedient because it is right in His eyes. Then, in verse 2, He instructs children to honor their parents, which comes with benefits described in verse 3: well-being and long life! God will bless the home of the righteous – His Word says so!
Does your home need a revival characterized by righteous lives and Christ-like behavior? Scripture says that it is our job to train up our children into righteousness: "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
Is your household in need of God’s blessing? Are you desperately seeking a revival in your life, in the lives of your children, and in your church? Parents, clearly communicate to your children that your obedience and theirs is pleasing to the Lord, and that you are trusting in Him to give you the wisdom you need to train them in righteousness that births revival.
It has long been my practice to read one chapter of Proverbs each day, along with other Bible study, because there is one for each day of the month. The Father always brings something new to my attention that I may never have noticed or paid attention to before. Every time I read each Proverb, it offers fresh instruction for my life and the lives of those in my family. Best of all, there is almost always a benefit attached for obeying each teaching and/or command. As one example of the powerful instruction in Proverbs, I draw your attention to Proverbs 3. As you take this chapter to heart, you will discover ways to teach your children how to live righteously, so that your household will be revived and blessed by the Lord!
Fresh Instruction in Righteousness from Proverbs 3
"My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity" (Proverbs 3:1-2). Instruction: Members of our family should always hold the teachings of the Lord close to their hearts, whether they are taught by their parents, or others who are spiritually wise about the things of God. Blessing: The Lord’s commands, if obeyed, will prolong life and bring prosperity.
"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man" (vv. 3-4). Instruction: You should love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and always be faithful to His commands by carefully placing them in your heart. Blessing: You will win favor and a good name in the sight of both God and man. As Christians, a good reputation is important for demonstrating the character of Christ and winning the lost.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight" (vv. 5-6). Instruction: Trust the Lord with everything in you. Don’t try to do things in your own flesh and with your own understanding. It’s important to recognize when it is time to stop doing things your own way and start doing them God’s way. Blessing: When you acknowledge Him in every area of your life, God will make every path straight – sometimes we take many turns and twists and waste precious kingdom time because we don’t follow this simple instruction.
"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones" (vv. 7-8). Instruction: When you think you are wise, you are being prideful and foolish. Blessing: When you revere the Lord and shut out every thought or activity of the devil, then you will have a healthy mind, body and spirit!
"Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine" (vv. 9-10). Instruction: Recognize that everything you have belongs to the Lord – not just a 10% tithe, but 100% of all you have! Blessing: If you honor the Lord by recognizing this, and respond accordingly, you will be blessed financially, with every need abundantly met.
"My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in" (vv. 11-12). Instruction: Sometimes the Lord needs to discipline us because we may be insisting on learning things the hard way. We should not resent the Lord’s discipline because we probably brought it upon ourselves, and He loves us too much to let us continue on the rocky path we are on! He delights in us! Blessing: Whatever pruning we receive through the Father’s careful, loving discipline is certain to strengthen us and teach us valuable lessons.
"My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet" (vv. 21-24). Instruction: We are to guard sound judgment and good discernment at all costs, without allowing the enemy to turn our hearts or twist our thinking. Blessing: Life; safety; lack of fear; sweet sleep.
"Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared" (vv. 25-26). Instruction: In the age in which we live, fear can easily come upon us without warning. We are not to have fear of things that might happen, or of things that do happen. We need not be afraid that we will be pulled into the enemy’s camp. Fear will cause us to make mistakes and tempt us to take the wrong side for the sake of our own safety. Blessing: The Lord is our confidence. He will see to it that we stay upon His path and not be trapped by those who would cause us to stumble. Whenever we have such a temptation, we need only to stand firm upon the promises of God that we are His beloved children and that we will serve only Him.
"Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the Lord detests a perverse man but takes the upright into His confidence" (vv. 31-32). Instruction: You should not envy evil men, nor should you even be tempted to emulate them in any way because the Lord abhors wicked, disobedient people. Blessing: If you live uprightly, the Lord Himself will take you into His confidence. Can you imagine living in such a way that the Father wants to share His secrets with you?
"He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble" (v. 34). Instruction: Live in humility. Blessing: God will give you His grace.
"The wise inherit honor, but fools He holds up to shame" (v. 35). Instruction: If you are foolish, it will be made known to others. Blessing: If you are wise, you will receive honor from the Lord.
Proverbs 3 gives us some other insights where specific blessings are not mentioned; however, it is clear that these commands are to be followed. Remember, if we obey His commands, He will bless. Sometimes those blessings may take on different forms depending on the circumstances or the people we come into contact with.
"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’ – when you now have it with you" (vv. 27-28). Instruction: People are more important than things. I will never forget when this statement, which I believed in my head, finally reached my heart and resonated with truth – truth that comes from the Father. If I have an opportunity to reach out, to pray with or to demonstrate the love of Jesus to someone, I try to take it! Blessing: Of course, I fail from time to time, but I have never regretted taking the time to serve other people through giving of my time, my finances, or acts of kindness. The Lord has always faithfully blessed me more than I can imagine when I don’t put off being His hands and feet to others. Sometimes I am blessed because the Lord draws someone closer to Himself as a result of something I said or did. Other times, people I have taken time to help have returned the favor when I needed help.
Praying through Proverbs
As you identify wisdom that you need to apply to your life and teach to your family, take time to pray the Word of God into your hearts and lives. Ask the Father to help you in areas where you struggle to be obedient so that you might gain victory and as a result, procure His precious blessings as He has promised!
When, in humility, we obey the Lord’s commands, and sincerely apply them to our lives, we will experience the blessings of a righteous household, and perhaps experience His wonderful pleasure as He wakes us up to experience Him more fully. "For this is what the high and lofty One says – He who lives forever, Whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite’" (Isaiah 57:15). The Almighty, All-Wise God lives not only in heaven, but also in us. This is an awesome mystery that we will never fully understand this side of glory. But as we purpose to honor His commands and to seek a deeper connection with His presence in our homes, He will honor us in return (see 1 Samuel 2:30).When you stand before God, He will hold you accountable for the stewardship of your family. Be determined that everyone in your home will walk in righteousness, revived by the Spirit of God, for the advancement of His Kingdom on this earth!