Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Proverbs 1:8-9; 2:1-12a NASB
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck… My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil…
We are all sons and daughters, and some of us have children of our own. So, one way and/or the other, we understand the unique role and high responsibility of a parent. They not only have the personal responsibility of training their child in the way they should go, but they are also charged with the tremendous responsibility of guiding and guarding the interaction their child will have with any other person in that child’s life. Though it doesn’t predetermine final outcomes, statistics reveal that the first 12 years of a child’s life have much to do with the character formation that takes place in a person’s life. The writers of the Proverbs bear this adult/child connection in mind throughout the book. Godly parents are keenly aware of this heavy responsibility. They are not only God oriented, but goal oriented, and, to this parent, The Proverbs are a gold mine of goal wealth. Anyone involved in child formation should read these proverbs thoughtfully and teach them consistently and creatively. They have the power to guide a child sensibly and safely throughout their life. And it’s the instruction and teaching of those early years that become the force for wisdom and right action in later years, brought to bear anytime—not as warnings finally given, but as knowledge and instruction faithfully given— “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (1:8). This is the appeal of a parent who was faithful in the early years, which gave him voice in the later years. I had a professor in seminary tell us, on our first day of his class, “I aim to bias you.” That’s what wise ways, taught and caught early in life, have the ability to do—to bias (positively) a child to right choices with the different currents of life. But even a good “current” choice will face the rough rapids of life that seek to throw us into a different and dangerous way. And so, the writer admonishes, “Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding… The LORD gives wisdom… He stores up wisdom for the upright… Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course… Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil…” What promise! What character! What appeal! This is more than skin deep. Wisdom must become the very DNA of the soul, adorning the Christian life with the right use of good instruction and teaching—“Indeed they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck” (1:9b). Wear it well son's and daughters!