Scripture Reading – Proverb 4-6
Our Scripture reading covers three chapters and consists of eighty-five verses. For the sake of brevity, we will consider only one proverbial idiom (Proverbs 4:10-12). You are invited to visit my www.HeartofAShepherd.com blog for thirty-two expositions on today’s Scripture reading.
After exhorting “children” to embrace wisdom (Proverbs 4:7-9), Solomon challenged his son to hold his father’s instructions with humility (4:10-12). Solomon writes:
Proverbs 4:10 – “Hear [obey, hearken], O my son, and receive [lay hold of, take, seize] my sayings [words; speeches; answer]; and the years of thy life shall be many [increase].”
Solomon challenged his son with a longing implanted in every human heart—long life! The object of Solomon’s instruction to his son is the fifth commandment:
Exodus 20:12 – “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
The Apostle Paul repeated the same promise in Ephesians 6:1-3.
Ephesians 6:1-3 – “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
Loving parents look past the difficult task of teaching and correcting their children and see its reward—a child who will enjoy a long fruitful life. A child who obeys and honors his parents will generally enjoy a long life, while a son who rebels, refuses instruction, and rejects his father’s counsel will often die an early death.
In Proverbs 4:11-12, Solomon challenged his son to follow the path he was taught from his youth, promising he would experience God’s blessings and protection.
Proverbs 4:11-12 – “I have taught [instructed; pointed; directed] thee in the way [course; road] of wisdom [skill and knowledge to make right choices]; I have led [guided] thee in right paths [paths of righteousness].
12 When thou goest [depart; take a journey from home], thy steps shall not be straitened [distressed; filled with obstacles]; and when thou runnest [hasten], thou shalt not stumble [weak; tottering; feeble in one’s legs].”
What a beautiful promise! How many parents will stand at a fresh grave and weep over a son or daughter that rebelled against godly instruction and died an early death? How many parents live to regret they failed to instruct and correct their children when their hearts were young and tender?
I close with an observation that is becoming all too real—our nation is beginning to reap a whirlwind of trouble because parents have abdicated responsibility to teach, instruct and train their children to follow righteousness. Our youth are filing through our courts in record numbers and the responsibility of this lawlessness belongs to the parents who failed to instruct their children, and a society that is delusional enough to think there is inherent goodness in man! Every child is born a sinner and the bent of a sinner’s heart is to do evil (Romans 3:10, 23).
Rebellion has become symptomatic of youth in our day and the result is a spirit of lawlessness that plagues our homes, communities and nation—from the White House to the County Court House—our society has no respect for the rule of law and order.
Do you want to live a long life and be blessed? Honor your parents and heed the LORD Commandments.
Deuteronomy 4:40 – “Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.”
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith