For years I have been encouraging people to read Proverbs through, every month. The reason for that is stated quite succinctly in the first chapter:
The proverbs of Solomon, David’s son who was king of Israel, given 2 to grasp wisdom and discipline,
to understand deep thoughts,
3 to acquire the discipline of wise behavior—
righteousness and justice and fairness—
4 to give insight to gullible people,
to give knowledge and foresight to the young—
5 a wise person will listen and continue to learn,
and an understanding person will gain direction— (Proverbs 1:1-5)
3 Through skillful and godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established on a sound and good foundation, 4 And by knowledge shall its chambers of every area be filled with all precious and pleasant riches (Proverbs 24:3-4)
See what I mean? I want everyone to “grasp wisdom and discipline,” and to “understand deep thoughts.” You gain that by reading God’s Word, with some very practical applications found in the writings of Solomon!
The word, “Proverbs,” means a “rule or standard,” and the book of Proverbs is filled with the rules and standards of our Lord. what is interesting, is that Solomon wrote down the wisdom he received from his father David. Each being in essence, two-line poems that convey clear and simple examples of Yahweh’s rules for a successful life. In fact, Proverbs contains His standards that were passed down to Solomon.
Now this is significant! We know that David had at least two other sons, besides Solomon. But when you read his story, he pretty much failed to teach his other sons, Adonijah and Absalom. They grew to rebel against their father as well as Yahweh.
There are many things that we can learn from David’s failure, among them is that we must never be too proud to tell others how the Word worked in our own lives. And certainly, the most important “others” we are supposed to teach, are our children.
Yes, we certainly learn from David’s successes. such as his military accomplishments and the famous defeat of Goliath. But we can also learn from his failures. You see, when we fail to teach the wisdom we have received to our children and future generations, all they will know is death and destruction. Yeah, that may sound rather drastic to you, but the reality will be seen in the lives of our children. Look around at our current culture. Read the headlines and you see the evidence of this failure. As one generation has failed to teach their children well, the following generations have fallen from righteousness and followed the ways of destruction.
Now, we must at the very least, begin to impart and open our hearts to your own children. If you don’t have any children of your own, or if they are grown, go to the upcoming generations within the church you attend. Families, and even single adults, can “adopt” children in the church and become their spiritual children through youth ministry, Sunday school, children’s ministry, trips and retreats. Hey! Why not become involved in ministering to the children of single moms! They certainly need the help and guidance of other adults in the church. Why don’t you begin to share Yahweh’s wisdom with the children in your neighborhood? The point I am trying to make, is that we must reach out and build wisdom into the lives of future generations!
Now, when we instruct children in the Wisdom of our God, He will build on those foundation we lay in their lives! As my children were growing, I shared what wisdom I had received, and now our God is adding to it, so that the next generation will become even wiser. When they teach their children, that generation will increase in wisdom and understanding, infinitely beyond what we have received! It will build from one generation to the next!
What I am saying is that instead of limiting our God, we need to plant His wisdom in our children and the young people in our churches. In the same way that we place stakes next to garden plants to help them grow up straight and tall, children need the proverbs of Yahweh! Use His wise standards to cause children to grow to live righteously and successfully.
Several years ago, Anne Ortlund wrote a book entitled, “Children Are Wet Cement: Make the right impression in their lives.” (I love that imagery!) Ortlund points out that our greatest need is a reconciliation of the “generation gap.” That the responsibility is on the adults to reach across the gap, in love and humility, to our children, while they are still moldable and impressionable. To quote Ortlund, “The way [a child] thinks of [themselves] later on, before God, will have been very much influenced by the way [we have] talked to them, treated them, handled them.”
As a side note, if you follow the link I provided, you will find her book. Buy it, read it, consider what she taught. You see, it is out of the guidance we provide our children comes a clue to a deeper attitude about ourselves. This book of Ortlund’s is truly for every adult, parent or not, because it explores how all of us are “wet cement” children of eternity! Even as adults, we need to become childlike and humble. Many of us have scars, “bad impressions,” that were placed on our hearts. And yes, we can find healing. There is always renewal and revival available to us.
I want you to look for opportunities to sow the wisdom of God into the soil of coming generations. It could be your children, your grandchildren, or children in your church or children around your neighborhood. When I was a child, there was Mrs. Peachtree. Each week she invited several of the neighborhood kids in for Bible lessons. She would give us treats and spend time to teach us many of the Bible stories. As I remember it, she was the first one to teach me about David and Goliath! I encourage you, to do that. Spend time with children. Teach them. Then you will witness a harvest of increasing wisdom, understanding, knowledge and prosperity in their lives. By faith, teach the Proverbs to the children so they can grow in wisdom and mature in their faith.
You know, I will be honest, I don’t really remember all of the stories that Mrs Peachtree taught us, but I do remember her, and now, in hindsight, I can see the seeds that she planted in our hearts! Amazing! That was forty-eight or fifty years ago! But I can still remember her and the time she spent with us. Amazing!
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