So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, Hebrews 4:9
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ (Matt. 5:3). Christ does not begin his sermon with commands and threatenings, but his lips dropped as the honeycomb with promises and blessings. His heavenly doctrine was sweet like the sound of music drawing the hearts of stone to him. He began, ‘Blessed’. The fullness of our blessings lie in the future. There are many difficulties in the way of faith. A believer’s march is dangerous, and our hearts are liable to be discouraged. It is good to set the crown of blessedness before them to spark their courage and to inflame their zeal. Many passages of Scripture being this olive branch in their mouth – the tidings of blessedness to believers. ‘Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes’ (Matt. 24:46). ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father’ (Matt. 25:34). This blessedness sharpens Christian discipline, and raises spiritual ambition. The fullness of our blessedness is in our heavenly rest. Revolve this often in your mind, and meditate upon it. What infinite cause you have to be thankful that the lot of free grace has fallen upon you! Though you forfeited all, God has provided a haven of happiness, and he is carrying you to heaven upon the sea of Christ’s blood, the gale of his Spirit blowing upon your sails. You are better now than when you had the robes of innocence upon you. God has raised you a step higher by your fall. How many has God passed by, and then looked upon you! Millions lie under the bitter vials of God’s curses, but you he will bring into his banqueting house and feast you eternally with the delicacies of heaven. O adore free grace, triumph in this love! Spend and be spent for the Lord. Lay out yourselves in thankfulness. Never think you can do enough for that God who will shortly set you ashore in the land of promise.
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?