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Dare to Discipline

by DeAnna Brooks  
10/08/2007 / Devotionals


"To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion."
Prov 1:2-4

Dare to Discipline. Ring a bell? It will to many parents. Even if they haven't read the book, the concept reverberates within us maybe with fear maybe in expectation. Nonetheless, somewhere from a deep reservoir of our being we know discipline to be soul-stuff.

Dare to Discipline. I love the title. It reflects God's heart a heartbeat of love a willingness to be inconvenienced, to be poured out, on the behalf of the beloved because to do less would be to lack love.

A far cry from Advice to the Lovelorn, Solomon reveals the very foundation for Wisdom's discourse. Because of love, Wisdom must speak.

The NIV opens Proverbs gently.

the proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel, for attaining wisdom and discipline for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life

I like to think of myself as basically a disciplined person; doing pretty well at that self-control thing now that I'm a grownup, now that I'm no longer in need of a parental guiding hand.

I don't think that's God's perspective, though, not when I view Solomon's opening lines in the KJV. Take a peek:

"To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;"

It becomes clearer once I let the Hebrew language speak for itself:

Instruction to the Hebrew mindset means: chastisement, restraint, rebuke

I think I like it better in the NIV, its easier for my 'grownup' self to swallow but God knows self for what it is that unrestrained part of my being that plucks the Edenic tree, brutally gorging on desire. Self, left to follow its own ways, may gorge away on what it perceives as sweetness, but the only taste self would really know is death.

Here in the book of Proverbs, Solomon, king of Israel, may be wielding the pen, but the ink with which Wisdom writes flows scarlet. The King of kings dares to discipline this wayward heart. Wisdom knows that as grownup as I may choose to think myself, I'm ever a child before Him. A child needing Love's restraint, needing Mercy's chastisement.

To a much-treasured steed chomping at the bit, the bit may seem heartless and restrictive, but to arrive at the desired destination safe and sound, the noble steed's heart must willingly submit to the Master's hand.

Solomon asked God for wisdom wisdom to govern his people wisdom to govern himself. And Wisdom replied. May God grant me the grace to embrace the bit, recognizing Wisdom's restraining Voice as the very road to abundant life in Him.

DeAnna Brooks (December 5, 2007)

Having raised four children, I live now in Texas. Mostly my writing is a sojourn with God. I find myself ever planted in Eden, glorying in its abundant and rich communion with the Almighty. Or, I am looking back, with longing. And the sojourn continues.

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