Listen to the class: 07172013WhatDoesPro22.6MeanDonRuhl

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When the Seemingly Innocent Suffer 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 3, In the year of our Lord, 2013


  1. “I need more help in understanding the punishments that happen to seemingly innocent or seemingly well-meaning people in the OT instead of to the person who lied or got drunk or did whatever to cause the situation. Cases in point: Pharaoh, Ham and all his descendants, Uzzah, God HARDENING Pharaoh’s heart and then subjecting the Egyptians to all the plagues, etc. Aren’t there also examples of David sinning and his people or his armies being the ones who are destroyed?”


  1. Natural Laws and Spiritual Laws
    1. Look at matters of the spirit the same as matters of nature.
    2. We understand:
      1. How the innocent suffer
      2. The violation of natural laws
    3. Yet, natural laws and spiritual laws are in many ways identical.
      1. Natural law reflects spiritual law.
      2. The Parable of the Sower – Luke 8.4–18
      3. Gal 6.7, 8
    4. Therefore, consider the case of Uzzah.
      1. 2Sa 6.6, 7
      2. 1Ch 15.2, 12, 13
  2. Followers Suffer Because of Their Leaders
    1. 1982 Thunderbirds Indian Springs Diamond accident
    2. We understand this naturally, but learn to see it spiritually also.
    3. The case of Pharaoh:
      1. The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart – Exo 4.21
      2. Pharaoh hardened his heart – Exo 8.15, 32; 9.34
      3. The Philistines could see that Pharaoh hardened his heart – 1Sa 6.6
      4. Why does the sun harden clay but melt butter?
    4. The case of David’s numbering of Israel:
      1. 70,000 Israelites died – 1Ch 21.14
      2. Satan was involved – 1Ch 21.1
      3. The Lord was involved – 1Sa 24.1
        1. Why did the Lord do this?
        2. Israel sinned.
          1. The Lord used Satan and David to punish Israel.
          2. David also sinned.

What Does Proverbs 22.6 Mean? 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • July 17, In the year of our Lord, 2013

  1. What does Proverbs 22.6 say?

    6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
    And when he is old he will not depart from it.
    (Pro 22.6)

    1. How do most people interpret it?
      1. Train a child to be a Christian, and
      2. he will never fall away.
        1. If he does fall away,
        2. then you failed to train your child properly.
          1. If he does fall away,
          2. he will return.
    2. However, I do not believe this interpretation
      1. conforms to the purpose of the Book of Proverbs.
      2. What is the purpose of Book of Proverbs?
    3. Why do we think it has to do with training them to be Christians?
      1. It is the last six words of the first line, “in the way he should go,”
      2. that people misunderstand Solomon to mean Christianity.
        1. However, that cannot be separated from the first couple of words,
        2. that of training up a child.
    4. What does it mean to train?
      1. I believe it is understanding this word in this context
      2. that will show the true meaning of this passage.
  2. The Need for Cultivation 
    1. Think of Proverbs 22.6 in the sense of cultivation.
    2. Does this verse refer to religion?
      1. Does it teach that children have no choice?
        1. How does that jive with other biblical teachings?
        2. What about what the Bible says about falling away?
      2. Does it teach that all is dependent upon the parents?
    3. Consider this meaning.
      1. The marginal reference of the Old ASV,
        1. on the words, “in the way he should go,” is this,
        2. “Heb. according to his way.”
          1. What does that mean?
          2. Is it saying that the children should set the rules?
      2. The idea is this,
        1. “As the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined,” and
        2. it should not be bent contrary to its nature.
          1. Train a child according to
          2. his nature and disposition.
            1. It centers on the method of the training,
            2. not the message of the training.
    4. Commentators:“Initiate, and so, educate. Or, according to the tenor of his way, i.e. the path specially belonging to, specially fitted for, the individual’s character. The proverb enjoins the closest possible study of each child’s temperament and the adaptation of ‘his way of life’ to that” (Barnes).

      [Delitzsch translates:]
      Give to the child instruction conformably to his way;
      So he will not, when he becomes old, depart from it.

      Delitzsch comments:]
      “The instruction of youth, the education of youth, ought to be conformed to the nature of youth; the matter of instruction, the manner of instruction, ought to regulate itself according to the stage of life, and its peculiarities; the method ought to be arranged according to the degree of development which the mental and bodily life of the youth as arrived at.”

      “The training prescribed is lit. ‘according to his (the child’s) way’, implying, it seems, respect for his individuality and vocation, though not for his selfwill (see verse 5, or 14:12). But the stress is on parental opportunity and duty” (Kidner).

    5. Consider what William McGuffey (of McGuffey’s Readers fame) taught.
      1. This passage deals with a child’s, not the parent’s,
        1. character, mentality, habits, and skill,
        2. not his Christianity.
          1. Consider this about two great Americans.
          2. Have you heard of Pop Warner?
            1. Growing up as a kid, to me,
            2. it was simply the football equivalent of little league.
              1. Later, I learned that he was a famous football coach and
              2. that he trained one of America’s greatest athletes ever.“Pop Warner, a football coach, had a bunch of Indians on his football team. He tried to get them in shape. He had them doing calisthenics like all football players do. They didn’t like it. He couldn’t get them to do it. He didn’t say all Indians were lazy because these boys didn’t do the calisthenics to get in shape. Instead, Pop Warner went around and talked with some of the Indian parents to find out what could be done. With their help, he figured out a new way to motivate them. He loaded his Indian players on the school bus and went two miles away from the college. He put each one of the players off the bus and handed them a tow sack. He said, “Take this tow sack, go out there and catch two rabbits any way you want to. Then run back to town as fast as you can.” They did it! They got in shape. He learned to motivate these fellows based on their background, not based on his. As a direct result, he had a nation’s champion in his caliber of football teams. There was one fellow in particular, a 158-pound fullback who was not very big for a fullback, but was a great athlete. His name was Jim Thorpe. I doubt that Jim Thorpe could have become the outstanding athlete that he was if Pop Warner had not learned to motivate him based on his background” (Monroe and Ehninger, Speech Communication, Page 115).
      2. When parents guide their children according to their
        1. interest,
        2. desire,
        3. talent and natural skill,
        4. they excel.
      3. General Patton’s mother noticed capabilities in him
        1. so she read stories of great men to him,
        2. whom he sought to imitate.