October 28, 2015

A Father’s Joy

Proverbs 29:1-11

A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

—  Proverbs 29:3

As a father of four sons who have brought us great joy, I appreciate today’s proverb about a young man who loves wisdom. The joy that parents feel as they observe their children making wise choices is a joy that God also knows. When Jesus was baptized, the voice of God the Father spoke from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). What joy and delight the Father had!

As someone who embodied wisdom, Jesus provides us the best example for living the obedient life. His love for wisdom shines through his parables as he teaches his listeners, including the twelve disciples.

His love for wisdom shines in the parable about two sons recorded in Luke 15. In that parable, Jesus speaks often of the sons’ father, filled with compassion for the younger son, who had squandered his wealth with prostitutes. When the lost son returned, the father threw a party to share his joy, but he also went out to plead with the angry older brother, who refused to celebrate.

Jesus left the story open-ended, so we don’t know the older brother’s response to the father’s invitation. But we do see our heavenly Father’s joy and full forgiveness in the father’s embrace of the foolish son who was wise enough to come home repentant.

Are we wise enough to do the same?

Heavenly Father, thank you for welcoming us when we turn back from our foolish ways. We want to bring you joy, as Jesus did! In his name, Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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