“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.”
Father Knows Best?
Mark Twain may have disagreed with Proverbs 4:1-2. He is widely quoted as having made the following statement:
‘When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.’
Few children willingly listen to a parent. I certainly didn’t, but my generation did not have any choice. Solomon obviously did take note of his father’s instruction and experience. Unlike Solomon, King David did not grow up in the opulent surroundings of a palace. He spent his early years in the fields and on the hills, where the instruction of his own father would have been supplemented by the hands-on experience he describes to Saul prior to his encounter with Goliath (1 Samuel 17:32-51).
The Most Important Thing
The most important thing that David could have taught Solomon from all his experience was to trust God. Trust/faith in God enabled David to fight bears and lions, to defeat Goliath, to manage Saul and his moods, to survive being on the run from the vengeful Saul, and to become a king who generally exhibited wisdom.
Before he died David again demonstrated great wisdom through the instructions he gave to Solomon from his deathbed (1 Kings 2:1-9). It is interesting that David says to Solomon; “Thou art a wise man.”
Wisdom in Action
The fact that Solomon had learned from David is evident in the words of 1 Kings 3:3: ‘And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father.’ It may have been the wisdom passed on by David that led Solomon to answer in the way that he did when God appeared to him in a dream and asked; “What do you want? Ask and I will give it to you!” (1 Kings 3:5 NLT)
Solomon answers God by acknowledging his inadequacy for the task ahead. Instead of putting in an order for fame and wealth, Solomon asks for an understanding heart, i.e. wisdom. It is evident that Solomon had listened intelligently to his father, and that he had already sought to be a man of knowledge and understanding. What an example! I wonder how I would have answered such a question from God when I was Solomon’s age?
May 7th, 2012 at 8:18 am
You know, we are coming up on Mother’s Day. Mother’s are loved and cherished far more than dads, I believe. At least that’s the way the culture wants us to see it. But I tell you, we need more men who will be dads that impart true wisdom to their children, especially their sons. If we did we might have more heroes, and less hoodlums; more leaders, less losers; more men, less mice.
May 7th, 2012 at 8:26 am
Amen to that. A point that the movie Courageous makes very well. It is time for fathers to be fathers.
May 8th, 2012 at 12:22 am
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May 9th, 2012 at 7:58 am
I as well, I am afraid I would have been foolish. I often wish that I had shown more wisdom in many of my younger days, and today as well.
May 11th, 2012 at 1:36 am
[…] wisdom began with the early example and teaching of his parents (Proverbial Thought – Proverbs 4:1-2 and Proverbs 4 […]
May 23rd, 2012 at 7:18 am
[…] Thought). The truth is that most children choose not to heed such advice while they are young (Proverbs 4:1-2 and 3-4). I don’t remember much of the wisdom my father tried to impart. What I do remember is […]
June 7th, 2012 at 11:14 am
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