Category: Family

The Lesson from the Children (Mark 10:13-16) (Part 2)

Disciples’ Attitude

Mark 10:13b “And His disciples rebuked those that brought them.” Jesus’ Disciples were unjustly and ineffectually (meaning of the word “rebuke”) preventing the children access to Jesus because they had a wrong estimate both of the worth of a child and of the nature of the Kingdom of God:

  • It is not necessary for a child to become adult before participating in the Kingdom of God; rather the reversal is true, the adult must be converted, turn back and become a child – Matthew 18:3b “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
  • The Kingdom of God is not a matter of achievement or merit; we must “receive the Kingdom of God” as a gift, and this is where the child has the advantage.

The Disciples’ attitude was strange, because Jesus had already taught them to receive the children in His Name and to be careful not to cause any of them to stumble – Mark 9:36-37 “And He (Jesus) took a child, and set him in the midst of them (Disciples); and when he had taken him in His arms, He said unto them, whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name, receiveth me; and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him that sent Me.” It is a serious matter to look lightly upon children and their place in God’s Plan. For in them are bound up infinite possibilities:

  • Each of the children is the object of God’s Love.
  • Children are the joy of today and the hope of tomorrow.

It is a tragedy beyond measure to fail to let the children to be rightly related to Jesus; what a fearful thing is the responsibility of adults entrusted with the care of little children, and especially with regard to their spiritual nurture:

  • Rabbindranath Tagore in Stray Birds: “Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged with man.”
  • Charles Dickens – “I love these little people; and it is not a sight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.”
  • E.T Sullivan – When God wants a great work done in the world a great wrong righted, He goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up His earthquakes or send for His thunderbolts; instead, He has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts His idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are babies.

Jesus’ Attitude

Mark 10:14 “But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer, (Permit) the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Quite naturally when Jesus saw His Disciples rebuking these fathers, He was “much displeased” (verse 14). This verb renders a Greek verb (aganaktein) which means: “to feel pain.” It expresses deep emotion which is best expressed as indignation. This is the only occasion where this word (implying anger) is predicated (affirmed) to Jesus. So, Jesus was indignant over the action of the Disciples.

Jesus said: “Suffer (Permit) the little children to come unto Me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (verse 14).  Literally “stop hindering.” Hindering was exactly what the Disciples were doing. And it was the opposite of what Jesus wished. For both verbs “suffer” and “forbid” are imperative modes. They are commands. The Disciples were to stop forbidding. Rather they were to keep on permitting the children to keep on coming to Jesus. The children were attracted to Jesus because they found the love of Jesus and are able to be at ease in His Presence. Our Lord Jesus said: “Of such (as little children) is the kingdom of God” (verse 14). Citizens of the Kingdom of God must be as a little child. This opens up a vast area as to the Kingdom character of: Trust, obedience, humility and forgiving spirit and dependent.

Object Lesson

Mark 10:14b-15 “For of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it.”  The fathers were bringing the children to Jesus, but His Disciples were excluding the children from the presence of Jesus because they were having a theological discussion on divorce.  Jesus was displeased and rebuked His Disciples – “And when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased and said unto them, suffer (permit) the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). Jesus was using the situation to teach an object – that the adult must be like the children to receive God’s Revelation.  This was a reversal of idea.  There are five characteristics in every child:

  • Open Mind – The mind of a child is open. He is ready to believe anything. He has a wide open mind. The older a person grows, the more he closes his mind. He argues and says I do not believe it. If we tell a child something, he accepts it.
  • Open Hand – A child is willing to receive. The further a person grown in life, the less the person is willing to receive without a question mark in his mind – suspicion. The assistance given to the person in age is called “charity.”
  • Open Heart – A child is willing to be loved and will response to love and care. The older a person gets he becomes suspicious and will question an honest gesture of love – “What is he after??” A child does not react in such suspicion. A child is spoiled by experiences of life and the heart closed up – “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it” (Mark 10:15).
  • Trust – A child displays trust (acceptance of authority and confidence). He has the tendency to be obedience. A child does not become distracted by all the complexities of life. When he trusts, his faith is simple and unwavering.
  • Forgive Spirit – A child has short memory when it comes to bearing grudges.

Jesus draws lessons that unless we have the attitude of a child, it is difficult for the adult mind to receive the Kingdom of God –“Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little children, he shall not enter into it” (Mark 10:15). Jesus took the children in His Arms – “And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them and blessed them.”

The Parent’s Joy

Mark 10:16 “And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them and blessed them.”  The delightful picture conveyed by the strong compound word in Greek (katêulogei), occurring nowhere else in the New Testament: “He blessed them fervently, again and again.” As each child comes to Jesus, one by one He places His hands upon them and blesses each child, individually; this is the Jewish custom an “act of a father” (Genesis 27:38):

  • Jesus holds out His arms to welcome them.
  • Jesus enfolds them by putting His arms around them.
  • Jesus lifts one hand to place it on the child’s head in blessing.

In his book “Reality Therapy,” well-known Psychiatrist Dr. William Glasser states his belief that there is no such thing as mental illness. The deviant symptoms that we have come to classify as mental illness, Glasser claims are the result of a frustration of two basic needs of life. These needs are love and be loved. If either of these needs is not met, people tend to break down emotionally. As Victor Hugo put it. “The supreme happiness of life is in the conviction that we are loved.”

Dr. Rene Spitz, a New York Psychoanalyst, spent three months observing the reaction of babies in an orphanage where the nursing staff was so busy that each child had “one tenth of a mother.” Dr Rene Spitz found that approximately 30 percent of the babies died before they were a year old. Emotional starvation is as dangerous as physical starvation,” says Dr. Rene Spitz.

Practical Application – The inner drive to love and be loved is very strong. All through life we want to make friends. As Parents, the way we extend love to our children profoundly affects their ability to relate effectively to others. The degree to which we include our children in our lives, show them love, respond to their love – to that extent the children are capable of including others in their life, in their friendships, and in their love.

The Lesson from the Children (Mark 10:13-16) (Part 1)

The Text

And they brought young children to Him (Jesus) that He should touch them; and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased (literally moved with indignation), and said unto them, suffer (permit) the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter into it. And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon the, and blessed them.

Mark 10:13-16

The Setting

Mark Chapter 10 records five events. Our Lord Jesus teaches the people spontaneously as each situation arises. Jesus is able to use every event that happened and draws out a teaching and lesson out of it. In every event, people’s idea is challenged. Jesus makes the people that listened to Him think. He is always turning their ideas up-side-down. The five events are:

  • Teaching on Divorce (Mark 10:1-12).
  • The Lesson from the Children (Marks 10:13-16).
  • The Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-27).
  • The Lesson learned from James and John’s Request (Mark 10:35-45).
  • Bartimaeus, the blind man (Mark 10:46-52).

Unlike many “moderns” today, the Jews of that day looked on children as a blessing and not a burden, a rich treasure from God and not a liability (Psalms 127 to 128); to be without children bring sorrow to the couple (1Samuel 1:10).

Bridging the Gap

Some interval of time elapsed between the conversation recorded in the last chapter and the conversation we are now to consider. During that interval many things has happened. If we want to “fill in” this gap which Mark leaves in his story, we must turn to Matthew and Luke. From a comparison of these Gospels we find that in the meantime Jesus had sent out the seventy Disciples; He had gone up to Jerusalem to the Feast of Pentecost; He had retired from Jerusalem to Perea; He had again gone up to Jerusalem to the Feast of Dedication; and once again, to avoid the murderous plots of His people, had gone away beyond Jordan, to the place where John the Baptist was at the first baptizing. It was probably just at this point that the question as to divorce was to be placed. 

The Revelation

Mark 10:13“And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them; and His disciples rebuked those that brought them.” The lesson from the children was the next event that took place –It is fitting that this incident should follow Jesus’ teaching on divorce that is designed to safe-guard marriage and the children. Our Lord Jesus Christ shows that He is the Defender of the weak, and the oppressed, a Guardian of the family and family life. This record of the reception and blessing of the children sheds further light upon that gracious aspect of our Lord Jesus’ character. In the last passage on divorce (Mark 10:1-12), our Lord Jesus maintains the right of the wife. In this passage He maintains the right of the child. Now there are three parties to the family – the husband (father), the wife and the child. The place of the husband was sufficiently safeguarded by the customs and laws of the society in Jesus’ day. But the wife was subjected to cruel wrong in Jesus’ day, and the child was often subject of shameful neglect in Jesus’ day.

By the teaching on divorce our Lord Jesus gives the wife her proper place in the family. By His love for the children, He redeemed childhood from neglect, and makes the children the object of love and care. The emphasis of our Lord Jesus laid upon the family deserves to be called “extraordinary,” says a noted American Professor. Not only did He always express sympathy with domestic life in all its phases; not only did He display great reverence for women and tenderness for children; not only did He adopt the terminology of the family to express the relations between Himself and His Followers, and even the relations between man and God, but the family is the only institution upon which Jesus laid down any specific legislation.

Father’s Responsibility

Mark 10:13a “And they brought (offered) young children to Him, that He should touch them.” Although it is natural to think that the children were brought by their mothers, the masculine gender of the pronoun in the statement that the Disciples rebuked them points rather in the direction of their fathers rather than their mothers. It was the fathers (“them” – masculine) who brought the children to Jesus and not the mothers. It is a reflection of our days and age. In God’s sight, the father of the house is responsible for the spiritual upbringing of his children (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). In our days, the mothers are responsible for the spiritual growth of the children. This is a complete reversal of God’s Plan. Every father will be held responsible by God for the spiritual upbringing of his children (Malachi 4:5-6). It was customary for the children to be blessed by the Ruler of the Synagogue. But Jesus was greater than the Rulers of the Synagogue.

  • Jewish Custom – Every Jewish Parent desired their children to be blessed by a distinguishing Rabbi, but it is interesting to note that Matthew suggests they requested Jesus to ask God’s blessing on their children. This often happened on the first birthday of the child and might be likened to the dedication service for children practiced in churches today. Happy are the Parents who recognise their children to be gifts from God (Psalm 127 & 128).
  • Duty Neglected – Today, in the Church, it is just here, in this crucial and all-important duty that many fond and loving Parents fail. They take every care of their children’s health and education. But many of the Parents take little account of the spiritual well-being of their children.

Mark says that “they were bringing young children to Him.” This pictures a procession as one after another the fathers (or mothers) did this. Matthew notes that the purpose was that Jesus might lay His hands on them and pray (Matthew 19:13). It was a natural thing that these fathers would bring their little children to noted Rabbi (spiritual leader). It was customary for children to receive such a blessing on their first birthday. Luke uses the word for “babes.” However, since there were so many, this need not be limited to those only one year old.

  • Princess Margaret – When Princess Margaret was five years old, the newspaper reported she came out of church one day disappointed. The minister’s prayer disturbed her. “Why did he (minister) only pray for you and daddy and Elizabeth” she asked her mother. “I’m just as bad as you are.”
  • Richard Baxter, a famous English Preacher, accepted a wealthy and sophisticated parish. For three years he preached passionately without any visible results. Finally, one day, he wrote, “I threw myself across the floor of my study and cried out, ‘God you must do something with these people or I’ll die.’” And, he (Richard Baxter) continued, “It was as if God spoke to me audibly and said, ‘Baxter, you’re working in the wrong place. You expect revival to come through the church. Try the home.’” Baxter went from home to home leading parents to give themselves to God and setting family worship. The fire began to burn until the entire congregation was alive, and the flames of spiritual renewal spread across the land.

To be continued….. Stay tuned…..

The Wife from The LORD (Proverbs 18:22 & Proverbs 19:14) (Part 4)

Amusing Note

It is amusing that God puts Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” and Proverbs 18:22 “Whosoever findeth a wife fineth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” side by side in the Word of God. The tongue is used when the man proposes to the girl. He asks her to marry him, and that is the proper way for it to be done; and death and life are in the power of the tongue. It is like the story of the old bachelor who had never met a woman whom he wanted to marry because he thought they all talked too much. He found what society, using an unkind word, called an old maid, one who seemed very quiet. He fell in love with her and asked her to marry him. The minute she accepted the proposal, she started talking. She talked about where they would go and how they would fix their house and on and on. Suddenly after an hour or so she realised that she was doing all the talking and that he was quiet. “Why don’t you say something?” she asked. He answered, I’ve said too much already!” – I have proposed! – Proverbs 18:22 “Whosoever findeth a wife fineth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”

From the Lord

Proverbs 19:14 “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord” (KJV). – Any man, worthy or not, may inherit the property from Progenitors; any man may bargain for a wife, or give a dowry to his son to further his matrimonial prospects. But a prudent wife is a gift of God, a proof of His gracious care for His people (Proverbs 18:22). Septuagint states: “It is by the Lord that a man is matched with a woman.” There is a special Providence that watches over wedlock (Malachi 2:13-17); as we say, “Marriages are made in Heaven.” But marriages of convenience, marriage made in consideration of worldly means, are a mere earthly arrangement, and cannot claim God’s Grace.

A prudent wife is from the LORD is emphatic. It implies that this gift is beyond both comparison and contriving. A good wife is necessary for the establishment of a happy home. She is not acquired, however, as are other possessions which may be worked for or inherited. She is always to be treasured as a Gift from The LORD.

The account of Ruth’s life beautifully illustrates God’s Providence in the Marriage. The Moabites married, contrary to all expectation, of that times, an Israelite. In this way she was brought into Naomi’s family. She had returned with Naomi to her (Naomi’s) land and then came to the attention of Boaz, who became Ruth’s husband. Often the wheels of the LORD’s working in this interesting matter constrain the admiration of men who are not used to observing spiritual matters (Genesis 24:50). And how much more endearing and secure is the Special Gift of God! – A Wife! Thus, a prudent wife is honoured as “a special blessing of God’s immediate choosing, and therefore to be obtained by our prayers at the hand of the Giver” (Bishop Hall).

Husband’s Crown

Proverbs 12:4a “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” A virtuous woman one whose portrait is beautifully traced in Proverbs 31:10-31. The term is applied to Ruth (Ruth 3:11). The Vulgate renders “diligent.” Virtuous (hayil), when relating to men, especially soldiers, means “strength.”  Referring to a wife, it designates the womanly virtues, effectualness in the home and nobility of character, viz:

  • Graciousness – Proverbs 11:16 “A gracious woman retaineth honour, and strong men retain riches.” The comparison intimates that what strength is to man in maintaining his wealth, grace is to woman for securing her position and influence. This is a “finger-post,” directing woman in her weakness to the place where her great strength lies. The winsome will win her way. The adaptation of the feminine character to be the companion and complement of man is one of the best-defined examples of that designing wisdom which pervades Creation.
  • Wisdom – Proverbs 14:1 “Ever wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
  • Virtuous – The root idea of strength and worth. The modern phrase, “she has a lot in her,” expresses something of the meaning.

The expression means one of power either in mind or body, or both. The same idea is contained in the virtue. Such woman is not simply loving and modest and loyal but is a crown to her husband; is an honour to him, adorns and beautifies his life, making, as it were, a joyous festival. Paul (1Thessalonians 2:19) calls his converts “a crown of glorying.” She delights in seeing her husband honoured, respected, and loved; prudent in the management of her family (Proverbs 31:10-31). She is immovable in affection (Titus 2:4); Conscientious in the carrying out of her domestic responsibilities (Proverbs 31:27-28); kind and considerate to all around her (Proverbs 31:20, 26), and as the root of all, Fearing the LORD (Proverbs 31:30). She is not the ring on her husband’s finger, or the chain of gold around his neck. That is far too low. She is his crown; his brightest ornament; drawing the eyes of all upon him, as eminently honoured and blessed – Proverbs 31:23 “Her husband is known in the gates, (place of honour in the city), when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” Her husband is honoured because of her.

The allusion is to the crown worn by the bridegroom at his marriage, or to the garlands worn at feasts. The Sons of the Sirach has much praise for the virtuous woman: “Blessed is the man that hath a good wife, for the number of his days shall be double. A virtuous woman rejoices her husband, and he shall fulfil their years of his life in peace” (Ecclus 26:1-2).

The virtuous wife is an important influence in the happiness in the home. The word is literally “a woman of power (character-positive aspect), and the idea of force lies in the word and idea of virtue (asset). Her moral character and influence make itself felt in all the life of her household. She is her husbands’ glory and pride. The central figure in wisdom’s home is the virtuous woman. She is possessed with a moral power that manifests itself in her godly character and domestic activity. The crown, or garland, is an emblem of renown. She bestows honour upon her husband!!! – Proverbs 18:22 “Whosoever findeth a wife fineth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”  & Proverbs 19:14 “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.”  

The Wife from The LORD (Proverbs 18:22 & Proverbs 19:14) (Part 3)

Variety of Ministration

The wife is not the counterpart of the husband, but the complement. Human nature is completed in the union of the man and his wife. Therefore, it is not the part of the women to imitate men, nor is inferiority to be assigned to women because they differ from men. The rich, full, perfect human life is attained by the blending and not the competing of differences.

Happy Home

No life can be more beautiful than that of the happy home. The serious question is how it shall be realised:

  • The LORD First – Marriage must be ratified in heaven (Malachi 2:13-17). Its happiness may be wrecked on so many hidden rocks that it is not safe to venture on to the unknown sea without the assurance that God is in the marriage and is guiding the voyage.
  • Adaptation – Every woman is not suitable for every man. Hasty courtships may lead to miserable marriages. So serious a matter as the choice of companion for life is not to be lightly undertaken it there is to be any hope of its issuing in happiness.
  • Mutual Confidence – There must be mutual confidence between husband and wife if the marriage is to be one of true and lasting blessedness. Whatever be their position in the social scale, it is possible for conceding the fullest mutual confidence.
  • • Self-Sacrifice – Selfishness is fatal to marriage. Love must learn to give, to suffer, to endure. The happiness is most complete when each seeks it chiefly for the other. Ogden Nash gave advise on how to make marriage a success in a little poem that he wrote:

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right shut up.

Good Thing

Proverbs 18:22 (KJV) “Whosoever findeth a wife fineth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” What is good implies godliness. Godliness is found when the man marries in the Lord and one who is the Lord.” Manoah found a good thing in his wife (Judges 13:23). A Writer comments: “that Manoah could speak so loud that all our Israelites could hear him, about the goodness of his wife.” The “good thing” is:

  • When the husband honours her, not as the wisest or the holiest of women, but as the person, whom God sees to be the best and fittest for him. She becomes his object of his undivided heart – “One flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
  • Mutual faith is plighted in the Lord Jesus. Such a communion acknowledges His (God’s) affections and elevates Him (God) from earth to heaven.
  • As an answered to prayer (Genesis 24) – “Choose thou mine inheritance for me” (Psalm 47:4) – is the cry and confidence of the child of God. Then assuredly, he will receive the wife, not as a result of good fortune, or as the proof of his own good discernment; but, as Adam received his wife, “from the LORD,” a token of God’s favour.
  • The good thing is displayed in her skill in the management of domestic affairs – Proverbs 31:11-12“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.”  – Their financial affairs (Proverbs 31:13-22). She is loved and appreciated by her husband and her children (Proverbs 31:28).
  • The good sense that makes her an agreeable Partner and directs her to that kind of attitude which makes her husband happy (blessed) in this connection. To these qualities, if piety be added, it renders her a far greater blessing (favour) than any possessions that husband can obtain. We are to thank God for every outward enjoyment, but chiefly for those in which His favourable providence is most plainly shown in the person of a wife. A wife is a rich present from God her husband is bound to show her all that respect and kindness which God requires. Whatever character a wife deserves, God commands her husband to love her, but when a wife is prudent, the husband would be inexcusable who do not love her with the tender affection.
  • Proverbs 18:22 ““Whosoever findeth a wife fineth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord,” the wording, especially in the Hebrews, strikingly resembles that of Proverbs 8:35 “Whosoever findeth Me (God) findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord,” and so suggests that after wisdom itself, the best of God’s blessing is a good wife. Proverbs 31:10 makes a similar comparison, putting her price, like wisdom (Proverbs 8:11), above rubies. Good = literally, “a boon (benefit).”

If a man desires to have a wife, he must acknowledge God by earnest supplications; for He alone know the hearts of men and women and exercises a Sovereign influence over their affections. God declares that a prudent wife is a far richer gift than those things which are so much valued by the generality of men (Proverbs 31:10).

To be continued. Stay Tuned……

The Wife from The LORD (Proverbs 18:22 & Proverbs 19:14) (Part 2)

The Companionship of Love

The Creation of woman is ascribed to the need of this “And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). In a marriage a man’s wife is his best friend. Fellowship of soul makes the union more than a mere contract of external relationship. Now, this fellowship is greatly needed for solace amid the cares of life, and strength to face its difficulties. The wife is able to give it to her husband, and the husband to his wife, as no persons in the outer circle of social relationship can hope to offer it.

Mutual Helpfulness

In the narrative of the Creation, God says, concerning Adam, “I will make him a help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). The wife who understands the Christian calling will aim at ministering to her husband in all ways of helpfulness that are within her power, but chiefly in helping his walks with God and the duty of her husband towards the wife will be similar.

  • Help – The word for “help” (exer) is used for both help and helper. It is used nineteen times in the Old Testament and fourteen times it alludes to God as our Help (Helper – Psalm 70:5). The word means: “surrounding, defending, girding, helping, succouring.” Man must have a help meet (wife), one sufficient for him, not an inferior aid, for this word “help,” as we have seen, is used fourteen times of God.
  • Meet – The word for “meet” (neged) means the front part, the front, or over against, opposite to each other, those who answer to each other (accountability), who are alike.  Placed before Adam, his wife in whom he could recognise his own likeness, his reflected image, one who would correspond to him in every way, succouring and aiding, entirely identified with him. The Syriac translation is “a help similar to him.”
  • Rib (Tsela), translated “rib” in Genesis 2:21, 22, in the plural is translated beams (as in the ribs of building). It is used of a side of a man, or inanimate things such as the tabernacle, altar, side chambers, cells of the temple, of the whole of that part of the temple comprising three stories (Ezekiel 41:5, 9, 11; Ezekiel 41:9), it is word used for space between the two walls of the temple, intended for these chambers. This is the reason, no doubt, why the Septuagint used the Greek word “pleura,” the lining membrane surrounding the ribs, lungs and heart. The rendering “rib” has its origin in the rabbinical writings. How could Adam says, “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” if only a little bone such as a rib had been taken from him?”

What Adam needed was God’s Creation after his own kind. We read that God took one of Adam’s ribs and from this rib made, a woman. When the Hebrews word “tsela” is translated rib it conveys a more limited idea than the Hebrew original. The word is never translated “rib” except in the Genesis account, but always “side,” or “flank.”

This is the true meaning also of the Latin word by which it is rendered in the Vulgate costa as shown in the French côte and our coast…….Woman was not framed out of one of  Adam’s many ribs, of which he would not feel the lost. She is one side of man; and though he may have several sides to his nature and character, yet without woman one integral portion of him is wanting.

Closed up the flesh instead thereof, literally, “closed up the flesh under it,” that is, in its place. This does not mean that man now has flesh where before he had this “side,” but that a cavity was prevented by the drawing of the flesh on the two edges close together, Metaphysically it means that man has no compensation for what was abstracted from him, except in the woman, who is the one side of his nature which he has lost;……She is something  which he once had, but has lost, and while for Adam there is simply the closing of the cavity, the woman is moulded and refashioned and built up into man’s counterpart. She brings back more than the man parted with, and the Creator Himself leads her by the hand to her husband. Note the following comments:

  • Porter – “Man when alone is incomplete” (Porter, Dr. Footnote Kitto, J.: Daily Bible Illustration, Morning Series, p.172).
  • Matthew Henry – “The woman was not made out of his head to top him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him.” (Matthew Henry: An Exposition of the Old and New Testament {London, Frederick Westley & A. H. Davis} 1836, Vol.1, p.12, note 4).
  • Otto Von Gerlach – “In the case of the animals, both sexes could be created side by side; in the case of man, however, where marriage is intended to be a communion of soul in the service of God – where the education and training of the fruits of marriage for God’s service and kingdom, the ordering and governance of the house and of the earth, formed a main part of the task imposed – there must be  the origin of the woman to point to the indissoluble union by which two persons become one until their life’s end. The woman taken out of the man (and out of that part of him which lay nearest to his heart), in order to show that this union of soul in love extended to the unity of the flesh likewise – embraced all…….and was indissoluble.”  (Ott Von Gerlach: Commentary on the Pentateuch (Edinburgh, T & T Clark), 1860, p.56).
  • Bishop Wordworth – He describes Eve as: “a helpmate exactly adapted to his moral and spiritual nature; literally ‘a help as over against him, before him,’ so as to ‘meet’ him, fully and ‘correspond’ to him as his counterpart…….” (Wordworth, Chr.: The Holy Bible with Notes and Introductions {Lond, Rivingtons}, 1880, Vol,1. P.17).

It was God who, with what He took from man, made literally built and created, woman (Genesis 2:22). The outcome of God’s creative act was marriage and the fruit of that union, the family. Woman was not made out of the dust of the ground, as Adam was, but by a separate, creative act which has no parallel in history. Matthew Henry commented: “Man being made last of the creatures, as the best and most excellent of all, Eve’s being made after Adam, and out of him, puts an honour upon that sex, as the glory of the man (1Corinthians 11:7). If man is the head, she is the crown; a crown to be husband, the crown of the visible creation. The man was dust refined, but the woman was dust double-refined, one removes further from the earth.”

To be continued……. Stay Tune.

The Wife from The LORD (Proverbs 18:22 & Proverbs 19:14) (Part 1)


Proverbs 18:22 “Whosoever findeth a wife fineth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”  & Proverbs 19:14 “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.”  


Woman’s place is important; God has made it so and made her fit for filling it. Man is incomplete without her there is a vacuum about him which she alone can fill. It is here that her great strength lies. When she assumes an independent or rival place, she mistakes her mission and her power.

Man, though made for the throne of the world, was found unfit for the final investiture until he got his wife as a help meet. She became the completion of his capacity and title – she becomes his crown – Proverbs 12:4a “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” Wife should find her place that God has given her; let her be what He made her necessary to husband, and not attempt to make herself independent of her husband. When the relations of Husband and wife move in fittings of truth and love, the working of the complicated machinery of life is a wonder to an observing husband, and a glory of the Creator God.

Septuagint – A good wife is meant (as the Septuagint has it), a virtuous, prudent helpmate, as in Proverbs 12:4a “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” – Fineth grace = viz peace, union, plenty, order. “And obtaineth favour (good will) of the LORD” = as shown by the companion (consort) whom God has given him. Favour is rendered by the Septuagint as “cheerfulness,” “joyousness” (Proverbs 19:12b “King’s favour ……like dew upon the grass”).   

Ecclus xxvi.1 “Blessed is the man that hath a good wife, for the number of his days shall be double.” “A virtuous woman rejoiceth her husband, and he shall fulfil the years of his life in peace. A good wife is a good portion which shall be given in the portion of them that fear the LORD. 

Talmud – “A good wife, says the Talmud, “is a good gift; she shall be given to a man that feareth God.”

(Dukes, p.69) And again, “God did not make woman from a man’s head that she should rule over him; nor from his feet, that she should not be his slave; but from his side, that she should be near his heart”

Latin – “He who casteth away a good wife casteth away a good thing (cheerfulness, joyousness – Septuagint; Proverbs 19:12b “King’s favour……like dew upon the grass”).

Parallel Bible Commentary“A good wife is a gift from Yahweh (Jehovah). It is not blind chance that brings such a blessed union. She is one of the highest expressions of the LORD’s favour.”

The blessedness of finding a wife – The Bible does not regard marriage as “a failure,” nor does it treat celibacy as a saintly condition. Even Paul, the Apostle, who does not seem to have been a married man, and who is thought by some to undervalue marriage, gives to it a eulogium is describing the union of husband and wife as a copy of the mystical union of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-32):

To be continued….. Stay Tuned.

Children are God’s Heritage (Psalm 127:3-5)

1 Living Asset

Children (Living Assets) – Psalm 127:3 (KJV) “Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward.

To the ancient Jews, the building of the house and the protection of the city were for the families. Family was the basic unit and most important elements of Jewish society, as they were under constant threat from the enemies

1.1 Children are the Blessing

Children are the blessing for the Jews, writes Rabbi Leo Trepp. “Each child brings a blessing all his own, our Ancestors would say. We rejoice in children because we are a people, a historical people” (“The Complete Book of Jewish Observance,” pg.217).

  • An old German Proverb says: “Many children make many prayers, and many prayers bring much blessing.
  • John Howard Hinton’s daughter said to him as she knelt by his deathbed: “There is no greater blessing than for children to have godly parents.” “And the next,” said the dying father, with a beam of gratitude, “for parents to have godly children.” (“Memoir in Baptist Handbook”)

1.2 The well-being of the family is a partnership between God and the parents

Psalm 127:3 (KJV) “Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Family was God’s idea. It was God who gave Eve to Adam and told them: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28).

1.3 Descendants to keep our name and family alive upon the earth.

Another point of building up a house, namely leaving Descendants to keep our name and family alive upon the earth. Without this, what is a person’s purpose in accumulating wealth? To what purpose does he build a house if he had none in his household to hold the house after him? What boots it that he is the Possessor of broad acres if he has no heir?

1.4 God’s blessing on the City (Psalm 127:1-2)

God’s blessing on the City (Psalm 127:1-2), begins with his blessing on the family (Psalm 127:3-5) – Since the family is the basic unit of society, if the families prosper, the nation prospers. If the families are neglected and decline, the entire nation will decline.

1.5 To Build

The connection between the first part (Psalm 127:1-2) of the Psalm and the remainder (Psalm 127:3-5) is better understood if it be remembered that the Hebrew word for “children” is from a root meaning to build.

The teaching on Psalm 127:1-2 is enforced by an example – the concept of the necessity of dependence upon God (Psalm 127:1-2) is carried over into the building of a family (Psalm 127:3-5). A recognition that children are God’s Gift is the basis for building a successful home. Conception is God’s reward to His people (Deuteronomy 28:4,11). The prosperity, alike of States and of Individuals, depends on nothing so much as on an abundant progeny (off-spring) of children. Children are manifestly God’s Gift. Psalm 127 is the middle Psalm of the third Group (Psalm 126 to Psalm 128) of the divisions of the Book of Psalms; and seems to have been chosen by Hezekiah as suited to his own childless condition during the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib (2Kings 18) and longs for the fulfilment of it in his case by the granting of an heir (2Chronicles 6:16; 7:18). Manasseh was born in Hezekiah’s seventeenth year on the throne, that is, the third of the added fifteen years (2Kings 20:18; 21:1).

2 Protection

Psalm 127:4-5a (KJV) “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (Warrior – NKJV), so are children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them.” – Children are precious – a heritage – and make the home a treasury. But they are also useful – like fruit and arrows – and make the home a garden and an armoury. If we do not raise our children to know and love the truth, who will plant the seeds of truth and fight the battles against lies and evil in the years to come? Children protect their aged parents as effectually as arrows in the hand of a Warrior (Mighty-man – KJV). Happy is the man who has abundant children for protection.

2.1 Speak in Defense

Psalm 127:5b (KJV) “They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” – Children speak in defence of their parents. “The Gate” – was the chief place of the city concourse for commerce, council, court (Deuteronomy 21:19; Ruth 4:1; Amos 5:12). It was the place where judgement was given, and where consequently adversaries were apt to meet, as they pushed their respective causes. The children of the family (father & mother) were to defend their father in the community court which meets at the city gate. A man who has many children to defend him, stands at an advantage.

2.2 Personal Application

A stalwart congregation (“many children”) conveys a sense of influence and power, enough, e.g. to make an unjust adversary hesitate to mount complaints or attacks – Psalm 127:5b (KJV) “They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Nurturing Children In The Lord (Proverb 22:6) (Part 2)

In the Way

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The word “way” (derek), occurs seventy-five times in Proverbs. In only four cases does it denote an actual road or path:

  • In every other occurrence it poetically indicates “a way of life or manner of actions.” This could mean two things: (1) The child future calling and station; (2) His character and natural inclination and capacity.
  • The word “derek” (way) parallels God’s “works of old”“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old” (Proverbs 8:22) and “departing from evil” (Proverbs 16:17).
  • Several times, “derek” (way) parallels the thought of walking uprightly (Proverbs 14:2; 28:6,18). This lead, then, to the conclusion that “derek” (way) in Proverbs 22:6 refers to a way of life.
  • A contrast occurs between the careless keeping of a person’s way and keeping the “commandment” – Proverbs 19:16 “He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul, but he that despiseth His (God’s) ways shall die.”

Proverbs 22:6 implies that parents should discern the individuality and special gifting, talent and special strengths that God has given to the child. Parents teach their child on how to make decisions and the choosing of the right way. 

Training the child in “the proper way” is the most important – acknowledging the Divine standard in God’s Word (Scriptures). Wisdom in choosing the proper time and skill in adopting the best method and principles (God’s Word) as habits and character are in-grafted for life.   The application most naturally refers to providing suitable instruction to a child. The child needs and potential (talent, gifting, ability, etc) guide the parents as they direct his development. There is nothing in Proverbs 22:6 that limits this to the spiritual area only. The maxim (saying) rather suggests that the full scope of the child’s training lies within the realm of parental guidance. This sphere naturally includes the spiritual within its boundaries.

The guidance would embrace other areas of development as well.  Proverbs 22:6 is both a Command (“train up a child in the way he should go.”) and a Promise (“and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”). Parents should provide individualised training suitable to the needs and the potential of the child. His strengths and weaknesses, his temperament, his emotional needs, and a host of other attributes should be taken into consideration as the parents direct his way. As the parents remain faithful, they can have the assurance that their child will gradually adopt those ways and make them his own. The promise is that the child will never leave that path upon which he had been set by consistent training. The child will hold to his basic orientation, an underlying motivation that will point him along the right way of life. Mistakes in his life will not take place with enough frequently to become settled habits of life.

When children are thus trained up they will be led into the paths of life and peace, and even when they are old they will not turn aside out of them. Timothy from a child was trained up in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and the faith which dwelt in his grandmother, Lois and mother, Eunice (2Timothy 1:5; 3:16), dwelt in him also, for Scriptures made him wise unto salvation. It is a great pleasure to parents to see their children walking in truth, and it is an unspeakable heightening of that pleasure when their own instructions and admonitions have been blessed by God, as a means of conducting them into that good path. Parents love their children because the children were the “heritage” of their existence, but they will look upon their inheritance (given by God) with great joy when their children walk in the way in the Fear (Reverential Fear) of the LORD.

The Consequences of the Training

“When he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6b). Here is the reward of teaching the young. The work is slow but encouraging as we will see results surfacing. When the “values” have been imparted and laid holds on the child, it is not likely to be ever effaced (wipe or rub out). The teachings of the parents and grandparents are remembered after many years because good habits and character formed are not easily broken. What makes this assurance stronger is that habit and character become more powerful with each effort and each action. Every day the good habits the child has formed and are exercising become more deeply rooted in his life


Grandparents have a lifetime of experience. Old age symbolised in the Proverbs by “grey hair,” has a certain “glory” if it comes at end of a “righteous life” – “Grey hair is a crown of splendour; it is attained by a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31). Understandably, younger people do not appreciate the intrusion of aged parents (or grand parents) into their affairs, but they may be surprised at the sympathetic hearing they get when they take aged parents (or grand parents) into their confidence. The grey-headed (parents, grand-parents) should not be despised. Aged parents (or grand parents) needed not be written off as outdated if they have lived their years in a healthy relationship with a wise and loving God, they should have wisdom from which younger people can profit. In every generation, parents make sacrifices so that their children enjoy opportunities and benefits that they themselves were denied. Rarely do aged parents (or grand parents) show any jealousy because of this. On the contrary, they receive much enjoyment through seeing their children and grandchildren benefit from the privileges they lacked. This is one way in which “grandchildren” are the crown of the grandparents – Proverbs 17:6 “Children’s children are a crown to the aged (grand parents), and parents are the pride of their children.”

Nurturing Children In The Lord (Proverb 22:6) (Part 1)

Scripture Text:

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

God’s Heritage:

Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are and heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward.

Children are the “heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). The Hebrew word for “children” is from a root meaning “to build.”

The recognition that children are God’s gift is the basis for building a successful home. Conception is God’s reward to His people (Deuteronomy 28:4,11). The prosperity, alike of States and of Individuals, depends largely on an abundant progeny (off-spring) of children. Children are manifestly God’s Free Gift.

God’s Word commands the parents to nurse and train up their children and those who obey His command shall be richly approbation (approval) of God, and the satisfaction of children who are well-brought up. Childhood is the proper period of education and this is universally acknowledged:

  • Each child begins a new life. If all that are desirable could be wrapped up in his being, this would need to be developed by training.
  • The child does not come into the world with a ready-made stock of experience and knowledge. He must learn truth and be made to see the right path, which is at first unknown to him.
  • The child needs not only be taught, but to be trained. He must be helped to do what is at first too much for his strength. His better nature must be drawn out, nourished, and confirmed.
  • Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15a) “But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15b). Training is the “rod of correction” (not necessarily the physical rod) that needs to be exercised by the parents and grandparents, with due care and love.
  • Habits and character have not yet been confirmed in the young child mind. Training moulds his habits and character. It is easier to form a character than to reform it.
  • A child is peculiarly open to religious impressions. As a Christian, faith is natural to a child. Teaching on God and the Bible is well received by him. A child is opened to influence, if he is not trained in goodness, he will follow his natural tendency to things that is not desirable
  • Early years of the child should be given to Christ. God seeks the opening bud and not the withered leaf.
  • Let the parents seek, besides training in good habits and character, to win his heart to that Divine Wisdom in his personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and walks with the Lord.


Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

The initial command “train” (chanak), means, first, “to put something in to the mouth,” “to give to be tasted,” as nurses give to infants food which they have masticated (chew) in order to prepare it for their nurslings; thence it comes to signify “to give elementary instruction,” “to imbue (instil),” “to train.”

The maxim to mean that the child should be trained from the first in the right path – the path of obedience and relationship both of God and man. The “Law” of the training:

  • There is a practical end in education. We are not merely to teach doctrine, but chiefly to train conduct and character.
  • According to the right – There is a way in which a child ought to go. It is the parents’ responsibility to lead him in it.
  • According to future requirements – While the main principles of education must be the same for all children, the special application of them will vary in different cases. Parents apply them to the specific gifting, talents, calling, expected of each child.
  • According to personal qualities – Each child’s nature needs separate consideration and distinctive treatment. The training that would ruin one child might save another. Parents are not to drill all children into one mould fashion of behaviour; they have rather to call out the individual gifts and capacities, and guard against the individual faults and weaknesses. Thus, the training of a child will be the directing of his own specific nature.

This initial command of “train” states the need to prepare the “child” (na’ar). The verb “train” (hanok) occurs only five times, elsewhere all in connection with building and meaning “to begin the use of” (or “to dedicate”).

The verb, to train, indicates the first instruction that is given to a child, i.e. his early education. This training is designed to open before the child the manner of life for which he is intended. To commence the child’s education in this way is of great importance, for the tree follows the bend of its early years. Training should be sweetened by good nature and guided by good example, rather than by precepts only. Correction must likewise have its place in training up your children and God will crown the whole with His blessing. Of late years much attention has been directed to the distinction between teaching and training:

  • Teaching – The tendency in a former age to pile up reading, writing, and few other kindred arts, and call them education, was superficial in its philosophy, and may be disastrous in its practical results.
  • Training involves teaching. Moral training according to the Divine standard, with the view of moulding the child, while yet young and tender, into right principles and habits of action

The oldest training school is still the best: home is the best school-room, parents, grand-parents, brothers, and sisters have great part to play in the moulding of the child’s character.

To be continued…….. Nurturing Children In The Lord (Proverb 22:6) (Part 2)