Jun. 12. A Father’s Wisdom

Prov. 4:1-7:27

Many wise men have walked upon the earth. However, they did not have the miraculous source of their wisdom that blessed Solomon. Much of their wisdom came from hearing and heeding the words of their fathers. In like manner, foolish men have refused their fathers’ instructions. Just as there have been untold continued generations of wise men, sadly many generations of foolish men still follow the examples set by their fathers hundreds of years earlier. Learning without wisdom is useless. One becomes an “educated fool.” Wisdom is most important in one’s life. Solomon stated, “Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you.” If everyone would follow those words, the world’s prisons could be demolished and its military forces could be disarmed. One must keep his heart and words pure and his feet straight. “Ponder the path of your feet… Do not turn to the right or the left…”

The father turned his thoughts to purity in marriage for his son. It is easy for one to be caught up in an immoral relationship. Solomon described the enticements of a wicked woman and cautioned, “Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house…” Evil is disappointing in this life and most certainly in the next life. He urged his son to remain faithful to the wife of his youth. Society has forsaken the wisdom of one husband and one wife for life. Instead, man’s wisdom says, “We’ll get married and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll divorce and marry someone else.” The words “commitment” and “till death do us part” are being ignored. One may appear to escape the consequences of his sin for the present, but in the end, God will bring him into judgment.

As the wise man continued his warnings to his son, he addressed the dangers of binding oneself for the debts of another. Many friendships and family relationships have been destroyed because of debt defaults of friends and family members. He also advised against laziness. The animal world teaches the value of working to provide for one’s present and future needs. “Go to the ant you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise…” Some individuals thrive on causing trouble and hard feelings among other people. Solomon listed seven things that the Lord hates. All of them deal with keeping healthy relationships with our fellowman. Theft is a serious offence in the eyes of God and man, whether it is the theft of a man’s wife or personal possessions. Untold harm has been caused by man’s unfaithfulness to the vows of marriage. Destroyed homes, poverty, broken hearts and disrupted churches have resulted from brief adulterous relationships. “Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned?”

The father continued to urge his son to embrace wisdom as a near relative. He also continued his warning to flee from the enticements of evil women. The young are especially vulnerable to the temptations of the flesh. However, Solomon’s warning applies to all ages as men can be easily enticed by seductive and flattering lips. Sin in general uses that same glamorous appeal to cause the downfall and ultimate destruction of unsuspecting individuals.