Under Gods Command

Proverbs 4:4 He taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; Keep my commands and you will live

Here is the greatest gift of a father – wisdom and truth! What is your family transferring from generation to generation? Solomon admitted that his father, David, had taught him. So he taught his children to continue the perpetuation of knowledge from father to son. He stressed that a successful life required his son to retain and keep this knowledge.

Note the proverb’s opening words: “He taught me also.” Solomon was the favorite son of David, so the instruction David gave him came from a loving heart desiring the very best for his son (Pr 4:1-4). In faithful fulfillment of his own office as father, King Solomon appealed to his own children to hear instruction from him like he had from his father.

How is truth perpetuated in the earth? What is the greatest gift parents can give children? The greatest heritage parents give their children is wisdom and truth, which is how both are kept in the world. Two passages of Scripture carefully describe four generations as every man’s goal (Ps 78:1-8; Joel 1:1-3). Therefore, godly families should never repeat the same mistakes, and they should greatly increase in wisdom, generation by generation.

Fathers are to be teachers. This is not an option or suggestion. Under both testaments, the father was the designated teacher (Deut 4:9; 6:4-7; Eph 6:4). If a child remains a fool and shames his parents, it is because the father did not do his job (Pr 22:6; 29:15). It is a horrible shame that television, public schools, and peer pressure do most teaching today.

Sons like Solomon are not chance events. David and Bathsheba taught Solomon. While God blessed Solomon with much wisdom after he became king, it was David who had given him an excellent foundation from his youth up. Surely David had seen the dire consequences of neglecting his other sons, Adonijah, Absalom, and Amnon (I Kings 1:6).

David taught Solomon three things. First, retain what I teach you. Do more than hear me. Listen to what I say, grasp its meaning, agree in your heart with its righteousness and truthfulness, meditate on it, review the principles, and apply them to every case you see. Remember the lesson by careful comprehension at first hearing and by frequent review.

Second, keep my commandments. It is not enough to hear and retain a father’s advice, you must keep it – you must do it. As with the word of God, it is the doers of the word who are blessed, not the hearers (Jas 1:21-25). Parental rules are only good to the degree the rules are obeyed. Sons must be taught to obey, and their obedience must be enforced.

Third, the goal and result of this instruction is your successful life. You are not reading about minor things here – you are dealing with life, your life! Keep these rules and live. Live well! Live righteously! Live abundantly! Grow in favor with God and men. This is the good life. This is the blessed life. This is the protected life. This is the prosperous life.

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