Proverbs 23:22–24:4comment (0)
June 12, 2008
By Jerry W. Batson
Related Scripture: Proverbs 23:22–24:4
Bible Studies for Life
Associate Professor of Divinity (Retired), Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
How to Stormproof Your Home
This spring has witnessed an unusual number of thunderstorms in the Midwest and Southeast. They have caused devastating losses of life and property. Many families have also found they are victims of other storms — abuse, addiction, infidelity and teenage rebellion. Proverbs offers help for stormproofing our homes.
While no home is immune from storms that arise from within or attack from without, biblical truths can strengthen family life and warn us about what can destroy it. God’s wisdom can help us avoid storms and equip us to handle those we cannot avoid. This study points to four helpful admonitions.
Stay True (23:22–25)
Fittingly, on Father’s Day, our focal passage opens with the appeal, “Listen to your father who gave you life,” and then adds, “Don’t despise your mother.” Blessed indeed are those who were raised by godly parents. Much of that blessedness consists in the passing on of godly truth, wisdom for life, practical instructions and biblical understanding. When children heed a godly upbringing, Christian parents are delighted.
Some adults cannot point to a godly heritage handed down from their parents. Nonetheless these adults can learn truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding from God’s Word and choose to live by what they learn. Not only so, they can reverse the chain by creating a godly heritage for their families.
So this Father’s Day admonition for some is, “Stay true to what you have received.” For others, “Learn what pleases God and pass it down by example and teaching.”
Stay Pure (23:26–28)
In our passage, a son is urged to follow his father’s example and avoid being lured into sexual impurity. The wise father knows what many have discovered by experience: sexual impurity diminishes a person and steals something precious from a family.
In a culture with temptations of sexual immorality, both men and women of God need to find spiritual resources for resisting our culture’s pressures and suggestions. Parents especially shouldn’t underestimate the power they exert on their children by being role models of marital purity and faithfulness.
The appeal of Proverbs is, “Stay pure because it pleases God, delights our Christian parents and casts a positive influence upon the next generation.”
Stay Clear (23:29–35)
The needful admonition of this passage is, “Stay clear of beverage alcohol and its potentially destructive effects.” Our generation needs warning about the sorrows and troubles that come from addictions such as alcoholism and drug abuse. Addiction is not a risk for those who determine to abstain from any form of these substances. Why run the risk of losing control of one’s life by yielding control to addictive substances?
In the New Testament, God’s appeals to us to be filled with the Spirit rather than drunk with wine (Eph. 5:18). A life controlled by the Holy Spirit is a better option than one controlled by alcohol or illicit drugs.
Stay Wise (24:1–4)
These verses celebrate wisdom by comparing it to a house with rooms filled with riches or treasure. The wise person shuns evil people and refuses to covet their approval. Rather the wise person sets about building a life that is harmonious and stable. God desires His people to build their homes with wisdom, biblical understanding and knowledge. Those who have experienced it know that a loving family is a greater treasure than precious stones.
One day, King Hezekiah entertained envoys from Babylon, opening the palace to them. Later Isaiah addressed the king, “What have they seen in your house?” (2 Kings 20:15). The result was the loss of peace and security when Babylon attacked Jerusalem. The question is a good one to ponder on Father’s Day, “Fathers, what have they seen in your house?” Mothers might also ponder the question. It is hoped that we can reply honestly that those in our house have examples that demonstrate all that is true and pure.