Continue Listening to God
“A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke…Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 13:1; 19:27)
Children love the song, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock.” They love the repetition, the hand actions, and the tune, but teachers often use the song as entertainment or occupation for small minds and hands rather than to teach its content. Jesus spoke these words to adults, though, not to children: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27) The New Testament confirms the Old Testament. In Proverbs, Solomon could have been writing to his own son, or thinking of particular examples of foolish sons, such as the sons in law of Lot, the sons of Eli and Samuel, or David’s sons. Or, he could have been writing to the children of Israel, God’s son. (1)
Our world provides enough vacuous entertainment to keep us occupied for a lifetime, but Scripture is not that. “One-third of the book of Proverbs contains a father’s addresses and appeals to his son. Israel would have read this not merely as King Solomon’s words to his royal sons but as God’s words to His national son, Israel. The nation, of course, was far from being a faithful and loyal son to its God and Father, but Proverbs surely held out the prospect of someone who would come and fill that role perfectly.” (2) Christ hascome with the words of life and believers would do well to consider them carefully, repeatedly, ready to be corrected and be reminded of the gospel’s instruction to come to Jesus. When we stop listening to his invitation to lay down our burdens at his feet, to stop trusting in ourselves or the world, we will wander away from God. Hearing comes first, then listening, by applying what we hear; not just remembering, but obeying the words of truth contained in Scripture.
Will you pray that you will hear the Lord speaking to you when you read and meditate on particular passages in the Bible? Will you listen carefully, rather than skim or gloss over familiar verses, to know how they might apply to your situation, life, desires, beliefs, or habits? Is there something you have stopped hearing because it is too hard for you to accept? Lord, teach me to listen to you more carefully.
(1) JohnGill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, Proverbs 13:1, https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-13.html
(2) Murray, David, “Jesus on Every Page,” page 181, Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition, 2013.