Proverbs 22:15 says, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from Him” (cf. Pro. 13:24, 23:14, 29:15).
Have you ever had to teach your children to whine, complain, disobey or act selfishly? Ofcourse not - it comes naturally. Proverbs 22:15 says the source of folly is the heart of a child. Granted, the world may encourage that folly, but folly is ultimately innate within us. A few things I want us to recognize in this passage today...
The first thing I want you to recognize is that this natural inclination to sin is not just a childish trait, but a HUMAN ONE.
Within every human being is the desire to sin. The Bible calls this desire "the flesh". Whether you are 5 years old or 85 years old, you’re not perfect and inside of you is folly that tempts you to sin.
The second thing I want you to notice is the remedy for this folly: DISCIPLINE.
Discipline not only applies to children, but to adults - especially Christian adults. If you are a Christian, you are a child of God and by His grace, through faith in the person, death and resurrection of Jesus, your sins have been paid for and your adoption papers signed with Jesus’s blood and sealed with the Holy Spirit. You are a child of God, but you do not become perfect when you become a child of God. You still live in the flesh and have folly in your heart and one of the ways God gets that folly out of you and grows you is through His discipline which often comes in the form of trials.
The final thing I want you to notice is the severity of the remedy: A ROD.
Rods don’t feel good. They bring pain. Not all pain is evil though. Pain can be a powerful teacher. The pain a child receives when they ignore their parents warning and touch the hot stove is not evil - it is a powerful teacher. That’s what excellent discipline brings. Not pain that is evil, but pain that teaches which way a child should go. And once again, this is not just a principal for parenting, it is a principal for all the children of God.
Hebrews 12:6 says God disciplines those He loves! He puts us through trials for the purpose of driving out folly and replacing it with His righteousness.
Today, I believe God is allowing this pandemic and all the trials that go with it for a myriad of reasons, and one of those reasons is discipline. God is utilizing this test to drive out folly in our lives.
What is yours and my folly? Maybe it is a lack of commitment to His Word, prayer, fellowship with believers, or service to Him. Maybe its cowardice, pride, anger, lust, or a false god that you have be propping up in His 1st place position?
Today I encourage you to be humble, think and ask, “Is there folly in my heart that God is exposing with this pandemic?”
If there is, praise God for this revealing test and then ask for the strength to repent and live righteously for Him.