For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1
A gracious prudent silence under the afflicting hand of God incudes a holy quietness and calmness of mind and spirit. It shuts out all inward murmurings of the heart. Such a soul is submissive to God. All passions are allayed, tamed, and subdued. It was a Father that put those bitter cups in your hand. It was love that laid those heavy crosses upon your shoulders, and grace that put the yokes about your neck. When God’s people are under the rod, he makes by his Spirit and word sweet music I their souls, and allays all tumultuous motions and passions. This holy silence humbly acquits God of all blame and injustice. ‘Ah! Lord’, he says, ‘there is not the least degree of injustice in all the afflictions you have brought upon me. I desire to take shame to myself, and to set my seal that you are righteous, and that there is no injustice or cruelty in all that you have brought upon me. I know, O Lord, that your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me’ (Psa. 119:75). God’s judgments are always just. He never afflicts but in faithfulness. His will is the rule of justice, and therefore a gracious soul dares not cavil or question his proceedings. The afflicted soul knows God can do nothing but that which is righteous, and puts his mouth in the dust before him. To silently kiss the rod and the hand that whips with it is the noblest way of clearing the Lord of all injustice. A holy silence shines in no greater way than to humbly clear God from all that which a corrupt heart is apt to charge him with in the day of affliction. God can give nothing, and do nothing, but that which is good; others do frequently, he cannot possibly, said Luther.
Many young parents today are beside themselves with anxieties about their children, and, sadly, confusion too about how to nurture them. The ongoing addiction of our times to the heresy of modernity and its proud rejection and ignorance of the tested and tried wisdom of the past, inevitably leads to dysfunction in home and family life. Sadly, the older, wiser counsel of God’s Word, and especially of the book of Proverbs, is unknown or neglected. Yet Proverbs was composed specifically as a manual for home and family instruction, and to prepare us for life in the world. It is a divinely given handbook to help parents.
Proverbs and Ken Wingate following them shows us the way to possess the jewel of all jewels in a well-adorned life: wisdom that is rooted in the knowledge of, and reverential love for, God. Here is true wisdom that will prove to be worth its weight in gold in every age and culture. Ken Wingate now brings it into our needy culture, and I for one am grateful to him for sharing his gift as a father with other fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters too.
Here then is a book for parents to read on their own; for teenagers to read on their own; for parents and teenagers, who are willing to take the family challenge, to read round the table after dinner or on other occasions. It points us to Gods way. It promises us God’s grace. What could be better for us than that?