(#97) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:20-Home-grown Heartbreak

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:20: “A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother.”

“A wise son” has learned God’s Wisdom and nothing is more satisfying than for a father to see that in his son! “A foolish man” has rejected God’s Wisdom and nothing hurts a mother more than to see her son “despise” (lightly regard, disregard, disdain) her! Too often the son who is overindulged and overprotected by his mother is neither prepared to love and appreciate her, or any other woman, for that matter! Before marrying any man, a woman should know, firsthand, his attitude toward his own mother! Reverse the proverb for the father and it reads: “A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him” (Proverbs 17:25). Both parents share in the “grief” and “bitterness” when their “son” is “foolish.” There is no joy, and only anguish, when parents see their son a “fool.” Another proverb shows how it could be even worse: “A foolish son is the ruin of his father, And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping” (Proverbs 19:13). The situation becomes intolerable for both the father and the son if the woman engages in “a continual dripping” (nagging, blaming, berating) for that condition! Each soul has made free choices and is responsible for his, or her, own. “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). No son can justify his disrespect of his parents, disregard for others’ safety, or disgraceful conduct by what his parents did, or didn’t do, if he is trying to “be his own man!” Yet another proverb shows that the son who pushes away from his parents has nothing of which to be proud: “He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach” (Proverbs 19:26). Still another proverb shows what parents can anticipate when home values work: “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice” (Proverbs 23:24-25).

“Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice, But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth” (Proverbs 29:3). Jesus used such a “foolish son” who “wasted his possessions with prodigal living” to show how the father (like the Father in Heaven!) waited in hopes that his son would repent and return of his own humbled choice, which happened (Luke 15:11-24)! Many treasures and family fortunes have been squandered in wasteful sins which helped no one in a beneficial way. God has waited for foolish sons to come to Him, for “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  Isn’t it about time you returned to God? “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #bitterness, #delight, #family, #father, #foolish-son, #glad, #grief, #mother, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #prodigal, #proverbs, #rejoice, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom, #wise-son

Distinctions by Contrast

The Bible often makes distinctions by teaching in contrast. A good example of this is the lesson of the prodigal son in Luke 15.

There is the contrast of the prodigal’s attitude when he left home and when he returned. Leaving his father was an act of rebellion and dishonor. To the son, living in his father’s house was like years of hard labor, instead of loving service. When he returns to his father, what motivates him is a willingness to serve. He says to his father, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son,” (Luke 15:21 NET). What a change there is!

Then, there is the response of the loving father contrasted with the older brother’s anger and contempt. The father immediately ordered a celebration for his son. The father’s reaction is explained in his statement, “because this son of mine was dead and is alive again,” (Luke 15:24).

Lifted up in hateful indignation over his brother’s repentance, however, the elder brother is disappointed with his father’s explanation. The older son said, “But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!” (Luke 15:30 NET). This son of yours? What difference could be clearer?

The Bible teaches often drawing distinctions using contrast. Light and dark, love and hate, selflessness and selfishness are just some of the uses. God be glorified and praised for his wonderful gift of his word!

#bible, #contrast, #prodigal

The Prodigal’s Dad

The prodigal son of Luke 15 is well known among Bible students, but what about the prodigal’s father?

There are, however, some great lessons provided by the prodigal’s dad.

  1. The prodigal’s father was not required to give his younger son his third of the inheritance, but he did anyway. Doesn’t this tell us something about our Heavenly Father?
  2. When the prodigal returned, his father kissed him again and again (15:20), the perfective use of katephilēsen.
  3. The prodigal’s dad was ready to forgive his son and fully restore him.
    1. He had the BEST robe put on him.
    2. He instructed to bring “the ring” and put it on him. Lockyer, in his “All the Parables of the Bible,” says this ring was probably a signet designating a familial relationship. The prodigal probably cast this ring off his finger when he left, but the Father restored it.
    3. Dad put shoes on his son’s feet. In the east, slaves did not wear shoes. Only members of the family did.
    4. The Father launched a celebration because his son, who was dead is now alive. He was lost but now is found.
    5. In fact, when one examines the context of the passage, rejoicing is key to our understanding. There is rejoicing in heaven when a sinner repents (V7-10.).

The prodigal took his father’s love for granted, just as we often do our Heavenly Father’s love, but the father’s love is always there, always available, always full and free.

My Lord, I have no clothes to come to thee;

My shoes are pierced and broken by the road.

I am torn and weathered, wounded by the goad,

And soiled with tugging at my weary load

And MORE I NEED THEE, for I am very prodigal. —McDonald.

#father, #god, #prodigal

A lack of vision was a Prodigal’s error

One of the four errors the Prodigal of Luke 15 made was lack of vision.

Mike Riley wrote, The prodigal son did not plan ahead for the ‘rainy day’ that was sure to come.”

The prodigal’s lack of vision was evident much before his money ran out. His decision to leave his father was the first evidence of this problem, because had he been thinking about his long-term well-being, he never would have left. That he was only concerned about his short-term pleasure is a hallmark of this one of Jesus’ parables.

The writer of the Hebrew letter said of Moses, “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward,” (Hebrews 11:26 ESV). Moses lived not for his immediate, but for his eternal welfare.

Are we planning for the “rainy day” that is sure to come? Are we looking out for our long-term, our eternal welfare? Obeying the gospel provides that.

#error, #prodigal

A Prodigal Error

One prodigal error was that he took his journey into a “far country” (Luke 15:13). He wanted to go as far as possible to get away from the influence and wise instruction of his father. The thinking of the prodigal was similar in nature to those folks described in Romans 1:28. As a result, he was given over to a reprobate [base and condemned] mind (AMP). Fortunately for the prodigal, “he came to himself” – he realized his lost and helpless condition (Luke 15:17), and returned to his father (Luke 15:18-20). Many folks never do.

#error, #helpless, #influence, #instruction, #journey, #lost, #prodigal, #realize, #reprobate, #thinking