Proverbs 4 alerts us to the responsibility of fathers. It starts, “Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive …”. It is clear that David, the father of Solomon, had seen in him a responsive spirit and taught him the ways of God. This led David to name Solomon as his successor (1 Kings 1:13,17,28-30) despite the efforts of other sons to claim the throne.
Solomon writes, “When I was a son with my father … he taught me and said to me, ‘let your heart hold fast to my words; keep my commandments and live. Get wisdom, get insight … do not turn away from the words of my mouth’” (verses 3-5). Solomon goes on to write advice to his son, “Hear, my son, accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her; for she is your life” (verses 10-13).
Solomon’s son Rehoboam, did not remember his father’s words. They did not stay in his heart and we read of the tragedy of his lack of wisdom when he succeeded his father in 2 Chronicles 10:8-13 in rejecting wise counsel. This is reflected in Proverbs 1:25,26 “because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you …”.
These words have an application in our days as the whole world ignores God’s counsel, despite His word being available in every language! Solomon writes, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place; keeping watch on the evil and on the good. A gentle tongue is a tree of life … whoever heeds reproof is prudent” (15:3-5). Let us heed God’s word!
Finally we noted the words of Jesus about the ones that God draws to him. “And I will raise (them) up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God’. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me …” (John 6:44,45). Have we learned? Let us be taught by God’s word.