Today’s devotional commentary is from Proverbs 24:11-12. To appreciate the context of these proverbs requires us to remember they are the wise sayings; the proverbial teachings of a king instructing a son who will one day sit on the throne of Israel as both king and judge. Solomon knows that life and death will rest in the hands of his son and he impresses upon him both the sanctity of human life and the responsibility of being just in one’s judgments.
Proverbs 24:11-12 – “If thou forbear [restrain; hold back; spare] to deliver [rescue; save] them that are drawn [take away; seize] unto death, and those that are ready [removed] to be slain [executed; put to death]; 12 If thou sayest [boast; certify; promise], Behold, we knew [know; understand; discern] it not; doth not he that pondereth [weigh; measure] the heart [inner nature] consider [discern; regard; understand] it? and he that keepeth [guards; preserves] thy soul [being; life; person], doth not he know [know; understand; discern] it? and shall not he render [restore; return] to every man according to his works [deeds]?”
The sacredness of all human life, from womb to tomb, is a fundamental doctrine of Judeo-Christianity. Theorists who project evolution on our society see human life as having no more value or dignity than fish in the sea or an otter in a lake. The humanist sees himself as his “god” and master, but he does not recognize man as having an eternal soul and spirit. Islam enslaves its adherents, murders its rivals and robs humanity of the dignity of conscious and free will choice. The Word of God; however, teaches that God created man in His image and man bears the likeness of God in his spirit—a consciousness of self and His Creator (Genesis 1:27; 2:7, 21-22; Psalm 139:13-16).
It is the sacred value of human life that is the central truth of Proverbs 24:11-12. Solomon impresses upon his son the tragedy of ambivalence when we observe injustice and the loss of innocent lives.
Solomon warns, “Don’t presuppose you can protest you knew nothing” (24:12) when you have failed to intervene to save innocent lives. God ponders the heart; He judges the motive and He will judge “every man according to his works” (24:12b).
I end today’s devotional with a personal note of “thank you” to my beautiful wife as we celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary this July 24! Our lives are blessed beyond measure with three children, their spouses and a beautiful granddaughter whom we love and treasure. The Lord is good and He does indeed work “all things together for good” (Romans 8:28-29). I love you, Sheilah!
Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith