Proverbs Day 284 (KJV):
Proverbs 26:3 (KJV): A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.
Proverbs 26:3 (AMP): A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a (straight, slender) rod for the backs of (self-confident) fools.
Thoughts for the Day
This verse from Proverbs tells us that some people will only be persuaded to obey, by receiving their instruction through punishment, like a horse and a donkey, that only move when a whip or a bridle is applied. Animals must be trained to obey the commands of their masters through the use of a bridle and a whip as they are rebellious and fearful. They will not cooperate until they complete this training. Some horses and donkeys are more sensitive than others and train more quickly and make better servants than others. The Bible definition of the word "fool" is one who is rebellious; therefore, the comparison we find in this verse is that a fool is like a rebellious, untrained, animal and it will take a rod to his back to get him to respond to commands.
Some Christians act like fools when it comes to obeying the Word of God. They would not have to receive the "rod to their back" for correction, if they would simply obey in the first place. How does God train and correct His children? The way God teaches us is by speaking to us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit. He also uses his preachers and pastors to teach and correct us. When we fail to respond and hear His Words of instruction, we leave the door open to the enemy, who then is able to break in and do His evil work. God is never the author of evil and destruction. He comes to bring us life and blessing. However, to receive it, we must choose life and obey His Word. The Bible teaches us that when we leave God out of our homes, schools, businesses, and government, it allows the enemy to come in and wreak havoc in our lives. God wants us to turn to Him before we experience any destruction, not be driven to Him through the destruction (the rod of correction) that comes as a result of us disobeying Him.
We can learn by two different methods. The first, is to hear and obey; the second, is to refuse and be forced by our own rebellion to obey. Forced obedience is not what the Lord desires. People who obey because they have to do so in order to escape the pain or destruction they have brought upon themselves, are not what God is looking for. He wants obedience from our hearts. God gave us a free will so we can choose to obey or disobey.
We should obey when God speaks to us and not try to get God to accept our way of doing things. His ways are higher than our ways. Our precious Lord would never ask us to do anything that would not bring a blessing to our lives. Sometimes that blessing is not immediately seen; yet, if we hold fast and continue to follow in His ways, we will discover He has a most beautiful plan for our lives. We must let the Lord work His patient nature into our lives and not always expect instant answers. This is difficult for us as we are living in an age in which everything is instant: instant coffee, instant tea, instant mashed potatoes, etc. The Lord wants us to walk not only in obedience, but also in faith and trust in Him. We must remember, He is the creator of the universe so we can trust Him. All of the commandments in the Bible are for our good and we should obey them and not be as the horse or the ass who must have the whip and bridle applied. We can choose not to be as a fool who will bring the rod to his own back by his rebellion and disobedience.
Prayer for the Day
Dear Heavenly Father, I am grateful that You have given us the Bible so that we may know and understand Your ways. Lord, I ask You to forgive me for the times that I have rebelled against Your Word and have experienced the pain caused by my own disobedience. Father, give me the grace to obey Your Word. I know that You have given us Your commandments so that we can be blessed in the earth. Deliver me from rebellion and all pride that would cause me to do it my way. I do trust You and I know that by obeying You, I will not suffer the consequences that sin causes. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen