Pathways Through Proverbs
March 4, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 4
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Following Scripture Verses
- Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
- For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
- For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
- He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
- Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
- Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
- Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
- Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
- She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
- Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
- I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
- When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
- Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
- Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
- Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
- For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
- For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
- But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
- The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
- My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
- Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
- For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
- Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
- Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
- Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
- Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
- Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
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Proverbs 4 opens with Solomon's instructions to his children concerning their obligation to listen to what he has to say. However, I see in this an additional truth: the obligation of a father to give proper instruction to his children.
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Solomon states in verse 2 that he is giving his son "good doctrine". The word "doctrine" not only has reference to a system of belief, but also carries with it the basic meaning of "instruction". In other words, Solomon says that he is teaching his children in a good way. As a father, I wonder if the same could be said of the things that I teach my children. Yes, I have tried to teach my children proper Bible doctrine, but what kind of life have I shown them? Have I taught them the proper way to respond to heartache? Have I showed them the proper method of handling persecution? Have I, along with my wife, showed them how to have a Biblical marriage? Have I taught them to pray? To evangelize? Have I taught them how to handle a disagreement in a Biblical fashion? Have I taught them to be the same person outside of church that they are inside of church? All of this is "good doctrine", and I need to be communicating it to my family.
Many a child has forsaken the "law" of his father because he has followed his "life" instead. When there is an inconsistency between what I say and what I do, my children are headed for problems. If I teach them Biblical truth, but do not give them a daily demonstration of how to apply that truth, then I have really failed to give them "good doctrine".
May each of us who are parents determine that we are going to give our children proper instruction in every aspect of life.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery