Proverbs 10 7-10-22

Understanding the heart and character of God is in direct correlation to serving Him with our whole hearts.

24 What the wicked dread will overtake them [God]; what the righteous desire will be granted [God].

It is interesting how through the ages words take on different meanings, thus changing the way we interpret verses. Exodus 34:6-7 is a prime example,

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

This passage is out of the Masoretic text, which was “written sometime between the seventh and tenth centuries AD, it was based on the meticulously preserved oral tradition and the best available manuscripts of the original Hebrew text.” See Masoretic Text. Many times newer is often better, but not necessarily in this case. By the time this version was finished (1000+A.D.), it was a millennium away from Christ and the apostles; it was part of the Western Roman Catholic Church, and was involved in a major division between the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Churches that happened in 1054 A.D. The Eastern Orthodox Churches continued to use the Septuagint version (to this day), translated by 70 (LXX) Jewish scholars in the 3rd century B.C. If Paul carried a Greek version of the Bible, this was it! Let’s read our text out of the LXX,

6 Then the Lord passed before his face and proclaimed, “The Lord God, compassionate, merciful, longsuffering, abounding in mercy and true, 7 preserving righteousness and showing mercy onto thousands, taking away lawlessness, wrongdoing, and sins; and He will not clear the guilty, visiting the lawlessness of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.

There is a noticeable difference in that the word, “punish,” is not in this version. In fact, the general idea is not that God punishes, but that He allows the natural consequences of mankind’s actions to follow them even into the next three or four generations. We see these natural consequences today in families with alcohol and drug addiction, suicide, and divorce. They are learned behaviors with a huge amount of emotional force. What we must do is use the first part of verse 7 to circumvent and/or disrupt destructive behavior, to “break the chain:” The Lord God is compassionate, merciful, longsuffering, abounding in mercy and true; He preserves our righteousness in Jesus Christ and shows mercy on all who will turn to Him. He took away our lawlessness, wrongdoing, and our sins and buried them in the grave with Himself–then He rose again WITHOUT them! God allows them, but He doesn’t cause them, which means that we can change them if we call on Him to help us with them. With His guidance, we can break that chain.

It’s an honor to serve a God like ours. He has done so much for us!

Abba, thank You for being You. Teach me to be just like You. I know You are transforming me into Your image, the image of Christ Jesus; I just wish the process moved a little quicker…Still, thank You. Amen.

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