no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD
and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17
Satan’s kingdom is a powerful kingdom. His forces are formidable, and are designed against God and man. Though fallen, they are yet angels, and have the power and authority of angels. If we get a proper understanding of Satan’s power, however, this lion will not appear so fierce. Consider three things: (1.) Satan’s power is a derived power. He does not have it of himself, but by God. His power will never hurt you. Would your Father give him a sword to mischief his own child? Christ told Pilate that he could do nothing unless given from above. Don’t look at the cruel jailer that whips you, but read the warrant, and see who wrote it. At the bottom you will find your Father’s hand. (2.) Satan’s power is a limited power. He cannot do all he desires. He stands like a dog at the table while the saints feast in comfort. The dog dares not stir, for his master’s eye is on him. (3.) Satan’s power is a ministering power, appointed by God to serve the saints. When Luther was told what had been passed against the Protestants, he said that it was decreed one way by the counsel, but differently in heaven. Satan seeks to ruin our graces and destroy our souls, but God’s thoughts are comfort and peace. Leviathan thinks to swallow up the saints, but he is sent from God, as the whale to Jonah, to bring us home safe. God allows his children to fall into temptation – as we do with linen when the spots are washed out by rubbing and laying them out to bleach, so the saint’s spots are whitened under Satan’s scouring. We should comfort ourselves that Satan’s temptations are for our good. God has given the world with its afflictions, the prince of it too, with all his wrath and power, to lead us to our inheritance. This is love and wisdom indeed in a riddle, but you who have the Spirit of Christ can unfold it.
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?