A Wise Son

Anyone looking for wise counsel on life should make their way often to the Proverbs. Our passage of the day contains words and ideas that, if taken to heart, can help any reader become “A Wise Son.”

You can play, download, or read the transcript of this Take Note Podcast below.

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A Wise Son

Proverbs 10:1-10

  • Anyone looking for wise counsel on life should make their way often to the Proverbs
  • The proverbs of Solomon we’ll address today are useful in youth and old age
  • They deliver invaluable reminders
  • About our daily needs
  • Finances
  • Work
  • Our character
  • And our speech, among other things
  • A person who takes to heart these words and ideas can be called “A Wise Son”
  • Which is our theme today
  • From Proverbs 10:1-10
  • The difficulty of study in Proverbs is the subject changes from verse to verse
  • A topical thread sometimes holds each section together
  • But often, the verses are self-contained units of wisdom
  • Some take a lot of thought to process
  • Others make instant sense
  • Proverbs 10 has a little of both
  • Like other proverbs of Solomon, they read as a father’s address to a son
  • But the messages to the reader vary widely
  • We begin considering one part of life
  • Then quickly switch to another
  • These are all things a father may tell a son
  • But they read like a random list
  • This is a somewhat common way for us to communicate (especially online) today
  • “Here are my top ten pieces of fatherly advice” the headline may read
  • In other words, the format works
  • Let’s take a closer look at each of these 10 verses…

Proverbs 10:1

1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

  • This is one of those “instantly relatable” proverbs
  • Parents are glad when their children make wise decisions
  • They celebrate prudence and good judgement
  • Because prudence and good judgement are best for their children
  • They produce good outcomes for life
  • And while wisdom doesn’t make everything great forever
  • It provides the very best opportunity for joy and fulfillment
  • Foolishness does exactly the opposite
  • It causes grief, and stress, and pain in a parent’s life
  • It weighs the parent down
  • Because the complexity that foolishness inevitably brings makes everything worse
  • This foolish son may be dull of senses, but they are also likely arrogant
  • That’s how the word in our text is often used
  • That’s a person making terrible decisions, but doing so with pride
  • Our next proverb…

Proverbs 10:2

2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

  • These “treasures of wickedness” are ill-gotten gains
  • They are riches obtained by doing wrong
  • And the reason they profit nothing is because they are not earned
  • While they may be enjoyed temporarily, reality catches up with us
  • God sees the dishonesty and the evil
  • They lead first to guilt, then to destruction
  • Righteousness is different
  • This is doing things justly or rightly
  • And whether it be in regard to financial gains or anything else
  • Righteousness delivers us
  • It helps us avoid dangerous consequences in this life, no doubt
  • But when we have faith in Christ and He is our righteousness
  • He provides a way for us to avoid eternal death in hell
  • These proverbs of Solomon go on…

Proverbs 10:3

3 The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

  • Here is another way to say this verse…

“The Lord will not allow the righteous to hunger, but He will reject [or thrust away] the craving of the wicked.”

  • It is well-known that God takes care of the needs of His people
  • David was young and became old and had not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread
  • Whether it is food for the body or food for the soul, God provides
  • But the wicked desire and have their desire thrust away by God
  • Evil leads to problems and difficulties and hardships and complexities
  • While every man has some of each, wickedness invites them
  • And ensures that they will stay
  • That means want for the belly and want for the soul
  • And this want can only be satisfied by God
  • Let’s continue…

Proverbs 10:4

4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

  • Not every lazy person is poor
  • And not every diligent person is rich
  • This is not a hard and fast rule
  • But we all know this tends to be the way of things
  • A slack hand is a lazy hand or an idle hand
  • And when men refuse to work, they suffer need
  • Laziness brings poverty
  • And that is true just as much today, as it was in this context
  • But diligent effort provides financial reward
  • Everyone observing honestly can see the difference between laziness and diligence
  • And the employers and customers of the world pay for diligence
  • They reward consistent, hard work
  • It is of value, so they are eager to pay for it
  • This proverb is somewhat connected to the next one…

Proverbs 10:5

5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

  • Wisdom and diligence are again contrasted with laziness here
  • The wise son makes his father glad
  • But the lazy son causes shame
  • Crops do not harvest themselves
  • And the man who sleeps instead of harvesting is without food and without honor
  • Wisdom means planning ahead
  • It means working ahead
  • It means doing all the labor that needs to be done
  • Without taking shortcuts
  • Without sleeping in
  • What else?

Proverbs 10:6

6 Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

  • Those who are just, who are righteous, can expect blessing
  • Choosing right, as we commented earlier, doesn’t guarantee everything is great
  • But it gives us the best opportunity to enjoy that which is good in the world
  • That which God has provided for us
  • The wicked person often finds themselves muzzled
  • They conceal the violence they have committed already, or plan to commit
  • The evil are certainly not quick to confess it
  • But how are people remembered?

Proverbs 10:7

7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

  • When people remember the righteous, they do so with fondness
  • Their justice is worth remembering
  • They have done that which pleases God
  • And it is a blessing to experience and to remember
  • The wicked are not so
  • They cannot be remembered fondly
  • Their names are forgotten or decried
  • Their evil leaves a stain, a scar
  • What about the heart?

Proverbs 10:8

8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

  • Commandments are often rejected by men
  • We don’t want to be told what to do
  • But a wise man receives them
  • And does so willingly
  • If they are from God, He knows they will benefit him
  • But a babbling fool will come to ruin
  • The babbling may be about how the fool wants his own way
  • How the commandments weigh him down
  • How they don’t make sense to him
  • How they are too much for God to ask
  • But none of this is legitimate
  • And ruin is the only outcome for a person like this
  • There is a confidence rightness provides…

Proverbs 10:9

9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

  • Here is a restatement of this verse…

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”

  • There is a security in integrity
  • There are no lies to remember
  • No tracks to cover
  • No bad choices to clean up
  • A person walking rightly can walk in confidence
  • Confidence before God and before men
  • Liars and cheaters
  • Those walking the crooked way have no confidence
  • In fact, God says they will be found out
  • Their evil is not hidden
  • It was seen by God
  • And it is likely to be seen by the world
  • This means trouble is ahead for the crooked
  • Familiar words in verse 10…

Proverbs 10:10

10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

  • Maybe this explanation will help…

“If you fail to speak the truth, trouble will follow. If you speak openly, peace will come.”

  • Failing to tell the truth
  • Worse, lying, leads to trouble
  • We learn this early in life
  • When we refuse to live by, and refuse to speak truth
  • Negative outcomes result
  • The opposite can be said of truth-tellers
  • They have the best possible chance to obtain and walk in peace
  • Because they obtain that truth from the Giver of Peace
  • And that is God
  • Who demands integrity from those who follow Him

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