Today: [Proverbs 13] Mother’s Milk and Father’s Instruction. In Proverbs 13 we see an emphasis of Solomon on the instruction of our heavenly Father. Solomon declares the absolute importance in this chapter of hearing our Father’s instruction and the awful consequences of lightly esteeming the voice of God in our lives. Our love for God and love for His word is the only true inheritance that we will leave our loved ones after we are gone. To instill and love for God and love for His word is our greatest gift to those that survive us after we make our change of address to heaven.
[Pro 13:1-25 KJV] 1 A wise son [heareth] his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke. 2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of [his] mouth: but the soul of the transgressors [shall eat] violence. 3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: [but] he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. 4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and [hath] nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. 5 A righteous [man] hateth lying: but a wicked [man] is loathsome, and cometh to shame. 6 Righteousness keepeth [him that is] upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. 7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet [hath] nothing: [there is] that maketh himself poor, yet [hath] great riches. 8 The ransom of a man’s life [are] his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke. 9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. 10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised [is] wisdom.
Proverbs 13 continues the theme of chastisement and correction. A wise son hears his father’s instruction. Jesus made the following statement in John 5:19:
[Jhn 5:19 KJV] 19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
You can see by the statement that Jesus did not simply employ Himself in following general mandates from heaven in His earth walk. He rather listened daily to the Father and moment by moment fulfilled the revealed will of God in a very intimate way. In both Proverbs 1:8 and 6:20 we see a repeated instruction:
[Pro 1:8 KJV] 8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
There are two levels of discipleship in the statement above. The law of your mother speaks of the church. In 1 Peter 2:2 Peter tells us to desire the sincere milk of the word. Milk comes from our mother. Who is the mother of the believer? In Galatians 4:26 Paul states that the church is our mother – feeding us the milk of the word from the twin breasts of the Old and New Testament. As spiritual children we should not forsake the law – the milk of our mother. That is the motivation for this bible study and the encouragement to spend time in the word and make the word of God – the scriptures an abiding part of your life. In 1 Tim. 4:13 we read:
[1Ti 4:13 NKJV] 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Reading of the word, family time studying the scriptures, time and priority set aside in our public gatherings and church services should be made for the purpose of placing the word of God first place in our lives not just as a religious sentiment but as a daily reality.
There is more however to commit ourselves to. We not only keep the law of our mother (the general principles and teachings of the scripture), but we are to hear the instruction of our Father. This is not just bible reading. This is what Isaiah referred to in Isa. 3:20:
[Isa 30:21 NIV] 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
11 Wealth [gotten] by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase. 12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but [when] the desire cometh, [it is] a tree of life. 13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. 14 The law of the wise [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. 15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors [is] hard. 16 Every prudent [man] dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open [his] folly. 17 A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador [is] health. 18 Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. 19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but [it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil.
Verse 13 tells us that the person who despises the word will be destroyed. What does it mean to despise the word? How would we know whether or not we were doing this? The word despise means “to esteem as insignificant”. Many people have a religious sentiment of honor for the word of God, however the same word they claim to honor holds a very insignificant part of their daily life. The iconic scorn of being encouraged to read the bible is almost universal in Christian culture, particularly among Evangelicals. We roll our eyes and say “yes, yes – I KNOW I must read the word of God – I get it…” but the question we must ask in reading verse 13 of Proverbs is “do we even believe this stuff?” If so then we must take a more sober look at our esteem and the actual functional place the word of God takes in our life.
20 He that walketh with wise [men] shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. 21 Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed. 22 A good [man] leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner [is] laid up for the just. 23 Much food [is in] the tillage of the poor: but there is [that is] destroyed for want of judgment. 24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. 25 The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
Verse 22 tells us that a good man leaves an inheritance to his children and his childrens children. This is more than just a few dollars dispersed between your survivors when you die. Usually the material inheritance left by parents to their children upon their death becomes a source of contention and sorrow that leaves families torn and relationships destroyed by survivors who refuse to equitably share the pitiable resources left behind by their deceased forbears. What is the true inheritance? My father is still living at the age of 83 but I have nonetheless received an inheritance of an intact relationship with God. My father is not only my natural father but through his personal integrity in God he has become my spiritual father as well. His walk with God and heart for God expressed over his lifetime by a 1000 examples of daily faithfulness under pressure in many circumstances of life – set a template for my own relationship with the Father. It is the great inheritance that he has left me even before his promotion to heaven.
Where did my father receive that inheritance? He received it from godly parents. His father (my grandfather) was born again and came to Christ in the social cauldron of the Great Depression. A Methodist missionary was going door to door gathering up children to go to Sunday school and on the front stoop of My grandfather’s house he gave his life to the Lord. My father’s step mother was a well-known evangelist who left a prosperous ministry to be a mother to my father and 3 other siblings who had lost their mother to cancer. She was my father’s mentor in prayer and study of the word of God. Her intensity and passion for the gospel ignited a fire in my father’s belly that now burns in mine and hopefully will be transmitted to my own children and the 10’s of 1000’s of people I am privileged to minister to on a daily basis. This is the greatest inheritance you will ever leave to your family. A passion and a love for God and His word.
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