He who curses his father or his mother, His lamp will go out in time of darkness. Proverbs 20:20
How does your relationship to your dad and mom relate to whether you are filled with the Holy Spirit or not? Some might consider this a strange question, yet from what we read here in Proverbs 20, it is anything but strange. We read here of someone who has decided to curse his father or his mother. There is no love for parents in this person's heart. There is no respect or honor for theim either - even though God's Law states plainly that we are to honor our father and mother. If there is no honor for them - then there will be a very serious grieving of the Holy Spirit. But from reading this particular proverb some may raise their eyebrows thinking, "There is no where in this proverb that mentions the Holy Spirit by name, so how can this refer to the work of the Spirit of God in the believer?"
What is the "lamp" in this passage? In order to understand this we need to look at other passages that refer to this "lamp" in the Bible. The lamp, as used here, is the same word as used for the lamp in the Tabernacle and the Temple. It was the only light available in the Holy Place to see. It illumined two things - the altar of incense and the altar of showbread. The altar of incense represents the believer's prayer life - and the altar of showbread represents the Word of God in our lives. Prayer and the Word are wonderful things, in and of themselves but, if we are going to get all we can out of them - need the Holy Spirit to illumine and empower them. There is a light from that lamp that allows us to see through the darkness and makes the Word and prayer powerful and meaningful. This lamp represents the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We read in Proverbs 20:27 the following, "The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being." We learn here that the spirit of man is where the "lamp of the Lord" (i.e. the Holy Spirit) wants to light up our lives and help us to see and pierce the darkness that is around us. When God's lamp is shinig within by the Holy Spirit - we are directed in the Word and granted power to pray effectively. We can see - even in the dark. When the Holy Spirit is grieved or quenched due to our sin - the light diminishes and we are walking in the dark spiritually.
As we return to our proverb we see now that the Holy Spirit is grieved when we curse our father of our mother. We are being disobedient to God and to His Word when we do this. Thus the lamp goes out. In time of darkness, we find that we do not have the light of life within us. We see nothing because we are no longer illumined within by the Spirit of God - the lamp of the Lord. Since this speaks of our parents - there is also a warning here for us. Family - especially your father and mother - are the ones who will step up when you are facing the deepest crises of your life. They are the ones who are the last line of defense. If we curse them and disobey God, we are going to have the lights turned out. We will find that there will not be the work of God going on in our hearts to help us see spiritually. The Lord is very serious about this.
In the book of Malachi - the last prophecy given is that of the work of God in revival. That work though, is when God turns the hearts of the fathers to the sons - the hearts of the sons to the fathers - lest God smite the land with a curse. Thus we see that the work of the Spirit of God - the illumination of the Word of God - the light of life within the people of God WILL affect the way that we live with our families. We can guarantee that if we disregard family - especially father and mother - we can just about guarantee that we ourselves will be disregarded. The lights will turn off and everything will go dark. That is not something that we want - but if we treat father and mother with disrespect - it is what we will get.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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