Thursday, September 08, 2011

110908 - Proverbs 23-24 - A Father Who Loves Sons

S: My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.
Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
Hear, my son, and be wise,
and direct your heart in the way.
Be not among drunkards
or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and slumber will clothe them with rags.
Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.
My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe my ways. (Proverbs 23:15-26)

O: Wise words from a father to a son urge him to give him his heart and watch his ways. Knowing the proclivities of a young man's heart, the writer urges him not to waste his motivating hope envying sinners or living the idolatrous life of a hedonist, but to gladden the heart of his parents by pursuing wisdom and virtue.

A: The writer knows sons well—and still loves them. The key is to build the kind of relationship in which the son is willing to give the father his heart, and be motivated by the best version of the natural desire to please his father. Only the kind of father who invites the son's scrutiny of his ways could do so. How much these short verses reveal the heart of our heavenly Father - not waiting to smite when we're caught with envy, drunkenness or gluttony, but saddened at the destruction of the relationship and the thought of the suffering such behavior brings.

P: Father, thank you for this record that you exult when we do what is right, you rejoice when we seek your righteousness and wisdom. Thank you for your grace for those times when I have not done so.

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