Proverbs 22 is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Proverbs. Several of the verses in the chapter resonate with my heart and have been a basis of my meditations over the years.
A few examples of the diamonds of truth in Proverbs 22 include the incomparable value of a “good name” (22:1), a wise man’s response to trouble (22:3), the reward of setting a child’s heart on the right path and administering discipline (22:6, 15), avoiding friendship with an angry man (22:24), and the responsibility of honoring a godly legacy (22:28).
Today’s devotional will highlight Proverbs 22:7-8.
Proverbs 22:7 – “The rich [in property or treasure] ruleth [reign; govern; have dominion] over the poor [destitute; needy], and the borrower is servant [slave; in bondage] to the lender.”
Indebtedness has become a way of life for our nation and society. Our nation’s leaders have sold out our future by funding welfare programs that rob the middle class to support a whole generation who have no concept of work and self-discipline. With our national debt approaching $18 trillion, it is only a matter of time before we face the awful reality of run-away inflation and our new status as a slave-nation to the whims of our lender—Communist China.
On a personal level, a borrower is enslaved to his lender and bears not only a financial burden, but also the physical and emotional pressures of indebtedness.
Proverbs 22:8 returns to a familiar theme: the principle of sowing and reaping.
Proverbs 22:8 – “He that soweth [scatters seed] iniquity [wickedness; perverseness; unrighteousness] shall reap [harvest] vanity [trouble; sorrow; wickedness]: and the rod [tribal scepter; stick used for punishing] of his anger [wrath; rage; fury; arrogance] shall fail [perish; be consumed; come to an end].”
This proverbs serves as a reminder of a cliché in our day: “What goes around comes around.” The man in this proverb appears to be one with authority [“the rod” can mean a ruling stick and a symbol of tribal authority]. The implication is that an angry leader who has assailed his subjects will inevitably fall victim to his own wicked ways. His lack of grace and compassion, coupled with his mean spirit, will come back upon him with pain and sorrow.
I close with a familiar New Testament passage that reminds us of the same truth:
Galatians 6:7-8 – “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”