The warnings of Scripture are not popular. Threats of divine discipline, punishment, and suffering for disobeying God and His appointed authorities on this earth do not make good memory verses. People do not search out verses that promise consequences for sin when they randomly open their Bibles looking for encouragement. Devotional books like “Jesus is Calling” do not choose the warning verses as the topics for their daily entries. Even pastors and chapel speakers do not usually pick such passages for their messages. We do not like to be called out for our sin and given strong cautions from God to repent or else. But what is important, hearing what we want to hear or hearing what God wants us to hear?
This is why I (Mr. Reel) believe in expositional preaching, teaching, and devotional Bible study. By expositional, I mean reading through books of the Bible chapter by chapter, verse by verse rather than skipping around to find what we want and like. When you read through all of God’s Word, the way that God intended us to read it, we get what’s known as the “whole counsel of God.” That means we get everything that God wants us to get, both the encouragements and the warnings. We get the passages that build us up in our identity as Christians, but we also get the promises of discipline to Christians who disobey and punishment to unbelievers who will not submit their lives to Christ. These warnings are especially important in a country like the USA and a school like NRCA, where young people are blessed with so much and feel entitled to everything and responsibile for nothing. For self-centered, wealthy people who feel like they are good just as they are and don’t need God, for people to whom the gospel seems irrelevant because they have never felt need and pain in their lives and are blinded to their own sinfulness – people like us desperately need warnings like the one found in today’s verse from Proverbs.
So here it is: Children, obey your parents or your eyes will be plucked out of your heads by birds (Proverbs 30:17). Whoa, what! There can’t be a verse like that in the Bible, can there? Yep, read it for yourself in your own Bible. Of course, this is a metaphor – bad kids will not literally be attacked by ravens and eagles. But you know what this verse is saying. Children who disobey their parents become young adults who disobey other authorities (like teachers and bosses) and ultimately become people who disobey God and reject His rule over their lives. And the consequences for that are a life full of hardships (pink slips, broken relationships, poor work records, or just a wicked heart) followed by an eternity of suffering in hell apart from Christ. Right, that’s worse than losing your eyes to some birds. Much worse. Which is why I am glad it is in God’s Word. God does not give us this verse because He hates us, but because He loves us and wants to save our lives and souls. So take the warning today and get right with your parents, your teachers, and the Lord. Bow the knee of your heart to Jesus and get the blessings instead of the curses.
The Text (Proverbs 30:17)
17 The eye that mocks his father, And scorns obedience to his mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.
Questions to Think About
- Do you read through books of the Bible for your personal Bible study? If you use a devotional book, does it teach through books of the Bible?
- How does today’s verse cause you to rethink how how you’ve been acting towards your parents and teachers? Explain.