I will never forget when my mom taught me the difficult lesson that life is full of dailiness. I was in elementary school, and I had probably just complained to her that I was bored. She told me that sometimes, life is “up here” and gestured high with her hand, meaning that life has very exciting moments. Other times, life is “down here” she said, as she brought her hand close to the ground, meaning that life has sad moments. Most of the time, though, life is “just here”, somewhere in the middle; not intensely exciting, but not depressing, either. I have carried that simple and important lesson with me since then, and I plan to teach it to my children. It has been a valuable reminder. We will see in our study today the value of parental direction.
In my last post, I shared how Proverbs teaches us how to live out our beliefs on earth. Matthew Henry’s commentary points out that this teaching spurs on our fervor for God and makes us a shining example of faith to others. Proverbs is telling us to base our life on God, which in turn puts Him above all else. We must fear Him in order to understand the wisdom He offers us.
Proverbs 1 continues by telling us to respect the instruction we receive from our parents as well as the wisdom we gain from God. Godly parents reinforce the instruction we glean from the Word. Verse 9 likens parental guidance to clothing items we should wear. This may symbolize that we should keep this guidance close to our hearts. The Reformation Study Bible says that this comparison shows us how wisdom enhances our life. Wisdom promotes success and embellishes our life.
“Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you;
never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee.
Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair,
like rings on your fingers.” Proverbs 1:8-9, The Message
Next, the proverb warns against temptation to sin from others. Sin often sounds appealing, especially if lots of people are doing it. It is even more difficult when someone is specifically asking you to join them in sin. We should use our God-given wisdom to discern when someone is trying to tempt us into sin. Additionally, we should use that wisdom to refuse the influence of sinful people and to avoid doing illegal things. Sinners are digging their own graves by choosing to sin. Those who spend their life chasing sin are hurting themselves and getting deeper into their sin addiction.
“Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you,
don’t go along with them.
If they say—“Let’s go out and raise some hell.
Let’s beat up some old man, mug some old woman.
Let’s pick them clean
and get them ready for their funerals.
We’ll load up on top-quality loot.
We’ll haul it home by the truckload.
Join us for the time of your life!
With us, it’s share and share alike!”—
Oh, friend, don’t give them a second look;
don’t listen to them for a minute.
They’re racing to a very bad end,
hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on.
Nobody robs a bank
with everyone watching,
Yet that’s what these people are doing—
they’re doing themselves in.
When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens:
the more you get, the less you are.” Proverbs 1:8-19, The Message
The Reformation Study Bible notes that wisdom is a form of wealth that is more valuable than money. Obtaining money through illegal means isn’t worth the price of your wisdom and goodwill with God.
In my next post, I will finish up Proverbs 1. I hope you remember a valuable childhood lesson today with a smile!