posted on May, 3 2019 @ 05:00 PM
The collector of the Old Testament Proverbs makes his purpose clear from the beginning.
“That men may know wisdom and instruction, understand words of insight” (ch1 v2).
Then he further defines this wisdom as “fear of the Lord” (v7). This phrase, when used in the Bible, means respect and willingness to obey.
I’m studying the different characters of Proverbs, as one way of organising and understanding the teaching.
The task of the Son is to absorb wisdom (and therefore righteousness) from his father.
“Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your mind in the way” (ch23 v19).
“Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me” (ch27 v11).
Therefore it is the task of the father to make sure that Wisdom is being presented.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (ch22 v6).
The use of discipline is a necessary part of imparting wisdom, since otherwise the natural folly of our characters will hold sway;
“Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him” (ch22 v15).
If he is properly taught and disciplined, he will end up in the paths of righteousness;
“Discipline your son and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart” (ch29 v17).
And if he is not disciplined, he will go the wrong way altogether;
“The rod and the reproof bring wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (ch29 v15).
This means that the practice of discipline is an act of love, because it saves the child from destruction.
“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” (ch13 v24).
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you beat him with a rod he will not die.
If you beat him with the rod, you will save his life from Sheol” (ch23 vv13-14).
What will happen to the Son who has not been properly trained?
For one thing, he will grow unruly;
“He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach” (ch19 v26).
He will fall in with wild women;
“He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but one who keeps company with harlots squanders his substance” (ch29 v3).
“For a harlot is a deep pit; an adventuress is a narrow well. She lies in wait like a robber and increases the faithless among men” (ch23
And he will take to drinking wine;
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler;
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (ch20 v1).
“Be not among winebibbers, or among gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a
man with rags” (ch23 vv20-21).
“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
Those who tarry long over wine, those who go to try mixed wine.
Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.
At the last it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.
‘They struck me’, you will say, ‘but I was not hurt; they beat me but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake? I shall seek another drink’” (ch23 vv29-35).
The son should not only hear these warnings, but take notice of them;
“Cease, my son, to hear instruction, only to stray from the words of knowledge” (ch19 v27).
“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him…
Let your father and mother be glad, let her who bore you rejoice” (ch23 vv22-25).