“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.”
The Monkey Trial
Just a few miles north of me is the town of Dayton, Tennessee. You may not be familiar with that little town, but in 1925 everyone knew about it. Dayton was the town where the Scopes “Monkey” Trial took place.
In 1960 a movie came out of Hollywood called “Inherit the Wind.” It stared people like Gene Kelly, Harry Morgan, and Spencer Tracy. The movie was an adaption of a play, neither of which were meant to be historically accurate.
But this proverb is not so much about what happened at the “monkey trial” in Dayton, TN., than it is about what happens when one sacrifices peace at home for the hope of gain.
It Could Be Argued
Some have said that the only reason Dayton (Rhea County) wanted the trial in the first place was to bring in money from tourism and national attention. City officials, including the school superintendent, are known to have found John Scopes, a math teacher, and convinced him to allow himself to be tried for something he never even did (teach evolution). It is said they considered that the publicity gained from such a trial would be beneficial.
William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate, opposed the theory of evolution. Bryan was convinced that Darwinism was responsible for the elitism that lead to World War I and the death of millions. He wanted to protect America from a belief system that devalued humanity. Therefore, when he was brought in to be the prosecuting attorney to argue against Clarence Darrow, publicity was guaranteed.
Essentially, the creationists were baited into a trial, and it could be argued that they lost. However, the instigators will have to answer to God for their desire to “trouble their house.” If anyone “inherited the wind,” it wasn’t the ones who stood on principle, but the ones who allowed a lie to be propagated in hopes of monetary gain.
But there is no argument with the wisdom of Proverbs 11:29. If a man brings trouble into his own house while in the pursuit of personal fortune and fame, the result is emptiness. The result is nothing more than wind.
Some pursue great causes, but neglect their families. They rationalize that the greater good is worth the sacrifice. But what they don’t understand is that in the end they will have nothing but emptiness to show for all the trouble.
Others, because of their love for the needle and the bottle, or for the thrill of what doesn’t belong to them, will trouble their own homes in the pursuit of fulfillment. But in the end, their souls will crack and dry as they weather under a wind that never stops.