19 ¶ A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.
By bringing this Proverb given to people who did not have appliances and modern mechanical conveniences to help them with their daily tasks into the modern world literally we can equate this servant with the employee of today. Some people will refuse to hear correction and although they understand what is being said to them and what they have done wrong they will refuse to speak or act as if they do.
But, leaving the worldly application to another time, let’s look at the application to the Christian. As a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:1; Revelation 1:1) as well as His friend (John 15:15), a child and heir of God through Christ (Galatians 4:7,) we are called to obey Him (Romans 6:16.) What does Christ call us to do?
To love God and to love those around us for one;
Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
To love our brothers and sisters in Christ;
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
This love, in God’s Bible, is often called charity. It is an active love that meets certain conditions and has certain characteristics. Look at 1 Corinthians 8:1, the entire chapter 13 of that letter, 1 Corinthians 16:14; Colossians 3:14; 1 Timothy 1:5; & 1 Peter 4:8 among others.
The Bible tells us what our attitude should be and how we are to live. We are to seek to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16 & Philipians 2:5) and throughout the letters from Paul to the churches we find that humility, love unfeigned and pure, and a simple, focused morality are called for in submission to God while we look for Christ’s return to translate the church (2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13), a subject I have given many verses on previously.
But, even though God has given us His word in a Book, we often understand but give no answer showing we do. Our response is as if we had no understanding. We cling to ritual, bigotry, and every kind of selfish device. Churches have turned their poor and their elderly over to the state and have focused their giving on bigger buildings and filling the pews rather than filling who is in the pews with God’s word, or even teaching them to feed themselves.
The statement here is that the disobedient servant will not be corrected by words. He knows what he has been told but will not answer as if he does. We have God’s truth in front of us but would rather follow Pastor Billybob into either socialistic drivel if we are politically leftist minded or a kind of selfish anarchy if we are politicaly right minded. We bring our own bigotry and prejudices with us and twist God’s word into pretzel knots in order to arrive at an end we want to present. The left wing Christian wants all the love of God without the judgment on sin and the right wing Christian wants all the judgment of God without the love, or so it appears to me from listening to the voices.
King James said in a political context, “I am ever for the medium in everything. Between foolish rashness and extreme length, there is a middle way.” (Antonia Fraser, King James (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975), 63.
The problem for Christians is they know the truth. They have it right in front of them, but they will not answer as if they understood what they clearly understand. If you would just do what you are certain that God wants you to do and live the way it is clear that God wants you to live from His word then any confusion you have about the rest would be cleared up. We are certainly unprofitable servants.