Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The eye that mocketh at his father

The eye that mocketh at his father,
and despiseth to obey his mother,
the ravens of the valley shall pick it out,
and the young eagles shall eat it.
(Proverbs 30:17)
 I imagine my loyal readers are wondering, “Why are you posting about such a gruesome scripture?”  Well, I know what you mean because I thought it was pretty gruesome too and condemning as well.  It sounds like a curse without any logic to it.   

But I then I started thinking about it a little more. 

I thought to myself, “This is written by a desert people.  There is usually a reason behind the imagery the ancient Israelites used.”  I asked myself, “Under what conditions would the birds be eating someone eyes?” and myself answered, “If the person were dead in the wilderness.  Think of vultures around a carcass.”  Then I asked myself, “Why are the person dead in the wilderness?” and myself answered, “Because they refused to listen to their parents who warned them about different dangers.  They wandered off and they got themselves into trouble and there was no one to help them.  No one knows where they are, which is why they haven't been buried.” 

So what sounds like a really gruesome statement is actually an important lesson about dire natural consequences of being disobedient to parental instruction.  This is something that we can understand, and now that verse is actually helpful.

So, let's say you had to come up with a modern equivalent for this warning. What would that warning be? 


Ramona Gordy said...

One "fatal" parent warning I will always remember with a small amount of fear; you know the one "Don't make me come down there", or where ever "there" was for you.This was a promise with a principle in my house,as a kid.It was the last resort of my parents because obviously we weren't obeying. We had driven them to wrath.
So I don't have any kids, but as a former kid, two scripture stand out to me.
Prov 15:1 A soft answer, turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.
Ephesians 6:4 And ye fathers (and mothers) provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Without going into the complicated and complex relationship of parents and their children, my own personal feelings would be that if parents and children can have a great "talking" relationship, and they have love and respect for one another as individual people, and accept that no one is perfect, then there is a good chance for a good relationship. Minimal wrath.

Michaela Stephens said...

Ramona, interestingly enough, my parents had a phrase they used that was very similar to your parents' "Don't make me come down there." It was something like, "If I have to come get you, you aren't going to like it." They too were very serious about it and it was a last warning before consequences would descend upon us for disobedience.