Our devotional proverb today is Proverbs 17:2. This verse draws a contrast between a wise, faithful servant and a son who is a cause of shame for his father.
Proverbs 17:2 – “A wise [prudent; considerate] servant shall have rule [power; authority] over a son that causeth shame [disappoints], and shall have [the wise servant] part of the inheritance among the brethren [numbered among the kin].”
The idea of a household servant is foreign to our culture; however, this proverb is a simple one when placed in its historical context. King Solomon imparted to his son, a child of wealth and privilege, the oft-repeated fact that children of privilege often have no appreciation for the care and sacrifice of their parents.
What is Solomon teaching his son? A son of shame cannot be trusted with an inheritance that bestows unrestrained power and possessions. Instead, a wise father and mother will obtain a proven faithful servant, a legal guardian, and give them authority over their household and a share of the estate.
America’s upper and middle class would be wise to heed the lesson of this proverb. Unlike any nation before us, we have produced generations of youth in the latter half of the 20th century and continuing into the 21st century, who have devoted their lives to leisure and privilege. Children with a work ethic are atypical of our culture, while children of privilege who are the cause of shame have become what we expect from our youth.
Lesson—Don’t bestow upon a foolish son or daughter the privilege of an inheritance apart from the supervision of a trusted authority. Your failure to constrain a foolish heir will be the seed to your son or daughter destroying not only themselves, but also your estate. Remember, you are a steward of your possessions and God will hold you accountable in eternity.