This week's topic from Deuteronomy 33's footnotes is on our children's occupations.

19th Apr 2015

Another review of an interesting topic considered in the footnotes in An Exposition of Deuteronomy 33

In his footnote on pages 621-624, Parkinson provides some wise counsel concerning both our own and our children’s choice of occupations. He writes, “To whom, indeed, but to God, the fountain of all wisdom and knowledge, can be ascribed those gifts of rare and various genius, by which some have invented the useful arts, and others improved them?….in all ages and nations, certain individuals have been so distinguished by natural talents, and others so favored by providential circumstances, that some as scholars or artists, and others as merchants, statesmen, or generals, have been raised far above the common level.” This thoughtful consideration led him also to suggest that “though the instances of such distinction are comparatively few, there is much reason to believe that God, in his wisdom and goodness, has bestowed such abilities on mankind very generally, as would enable them, by industry and economy, to acquire the means of an honest livelihood, and to be severally useful in their respective communities.” Yet, he adds, “the adaption of genius and talent” cannot “be mistaken or perverted, without a certain failure….Who will venture to affirm that [Sir Isaac] Newton could have excelled as a general, or [George] Washington as an astronomer?.... Hence let parents learn, that it is not their province absolutely to determine what shall be the professions, trades, or occupations of their children; but that, having duly observed and tried their several faculties and inclinations, and having advised them according to their best judgment, they should, in this respect, leave each to make a voluntary choice; and that, finding them to have chosen honest avocations, high or low, they should encourage them therein, by appropriate consultation and counsel, and by rendering them such assistance as may comport with their conditions and means….Nor is it unworthy to remark that, in many instances, Divine providence leads men through inferior occupations, preparatory to more exalted stations. Both Moses and David were shepherds before they were rulers. In no department has this been more frequent than in the gospel ministry, to which men have been divinely called from almost every station and occupation in civil life, professional, commercial, and mechanical—from the Judge to the Tinker….Well might the prophet exclaim, O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Jer. 10:23.”