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A Father's Wisdom

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Introduction
We as a nation have set this day aside to honor our fathers. Dads are very important and they have a great deal of wisdom to teach to their children. The wisest dad on the planet was King Solomon and the book of Proverbs is a collection of his wisdom that he wanted to pass on to his son who would rule after him. This morning we want to look at proverbs 2 verses 1-15 to see three aspects of a father’s wisdom that each of us should learn and that all you dads who are here this morning have been given the responsibility to teach to your children.
Proverbs 2:1–12 NASB95
1 My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things;
Proverbs 2:1–2 NASB95
1 My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding;
Notice the “if” here. There are three of them in these verses and they are very important. Because wisdom isn’t automatically downloaded to you the moment you reach a certain age. It is a matter of choice. You have to want it. You have to value it so much that you treasure it inside you. Verse 2 continues in this vein but adds the thought of listening. It has the idea of causing you ears to hear in an intense way. Not in one ear and out the other. To incline means to stretch out or extend your heart to understanding. Young people this is how you need to respond to your dads. You need to extend your hearts to what they say to you, because they are trying to teach you wisdom. Listen to them intensely and treasure what they say inside you.
Notice the “if” here. There are three of them in these verses and they are very important. Because wisdom isn’t automatically downloaded to you the moment you reach a certain age. It is a matter of choice. You have to want it. You have to value it so much that you treasure it inside you. Verse 2 continues in this vein but adds the thought of listening. It has the idea of causing you ears to hear in an intense way. Not in one ear and out the other. To incline means to stretch out or extend your heart to understanding. Young people this is how you need to respond to your dads. You need to extend your hearts to what they say to you, because they are trying to teach you wisdom. Listen to them intensely and treasure what they say inside you.
Proverbs 2:3 NASB95
3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding;
Proverbs 2:3Verse 3 has another “if.” That means it depends on you. And what are you supposed to do? You are supposed to speak up! If you don’t ask any questions how are you supposed to learn? You have to cry out for discernment. One thing dads can’t do is read minds. They cannot know what you are thinking and what you are struggling with, you have to tell them what is going on and ask them what to do. I know that my dad really treasures times when I come to him to ask him for advise, isn’t that true dads? But you won’t learn if you don’t ask. Now there is one Father who can read your mind, our heavenly Father, but I have found that even though He can read my mind, it is still good to ask Him things. I have found myself doing that more and more lately when I pray. I just say things like, “Lord what do you think about this?” or “What should I do now?” and inevitably He will answer in one way or another.
Verse 3 has another “if.” That means it depends on you. And what are you supposed to do? You are supposed to speak up! If you don’t ask any questions how are you supposed to learn? You have to cry out for discernment. One thing dads can’t do is read minds. They cannot know what you are thinking and what you are struggling with, you have to tell them what is going on and ask them what to do. I know that my dad really treasures times when I come to him to ask him for advise, isn’t that true dads? But you won’t learn if you don’t ask. Now there is one Father who can read your mind, our heavenly Father, but I have found that even though He can read my mind, it is still good to ask Him things. I have found myself doing that more and more lately when I pray. I just say things like, “Lord what do you think about this?” or “What should I do now?” and inevitably He will answer in one way or another.
Proverbs 2:4–5 NASB95
4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord And discover the knowledge of God.
Asking isn’t enough though. The third “if” is searching for wisdom. Even when I’ve asked the Lord for an answer, He wants me to search for it. That means studying His Word. If you wanted to find a buried treasure it wouldn’t be enough just to ask somebody where it is, you would have to walk through the jungle, find the spot, get out your shovel and dig for it! All of these “ifs” are a matter of how bad you want it. So how bad do you want it? Will you listen for it, ask for it, and look for it? It depends on you. Wisdom is free but it isn’t cheap.
Asking isn’t enough though. The third “if” is searching for wisdom. Even when I’ve asked the Lord for an answer, He wants me to search for it. That means studying His Word. If you wanted to find a buried treasure it wouldn’t be enough just to ask somebody where it is, you would have to walk through the jungle, find the spot, get out your shovel and dig for it! All of these “ifs” are a matter of how bad you want it. So how bad do you want it? Will you listen for it, ask for it, and look for it? It depends on you. Wisdom is free but it isn’t cheap.
Proverbs 2:6–8 NASB95
6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
What do you find when you desire wisdom? You find God! Notice too that wisdom is bound up in the fear of the Lord. This is something that Solomon makes clear later in the book when he says in 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” This fear I s like a fear of a hot stove. If it is not approached in the correct manner it will hurt you. Therefore it demands your respect and awe. If you are to know wisdom then you must approach the source in the correct manner or He will harm you for your own good. God is the source of wisdom and so when you search for wisdom you find Him. And this is Yahweh, the “I am,” the “self existent One,” who gives this wisdom. That only makes sense, right? The one who can exist apart from anything else and who made everything is only One who can give wisdom. This is important for you dads. You can teach your kids the wisdom that you posses in and of yourself and if they receive it, they will be at best as wise as you, but the truly wise dad will recognize that true wisdom comes from God and he will humbly point his children to the source of all wisdom. It is like making copies. You start with an original and you make a copy from it. The copy is inferior to the original, but is nonetheless similar. If you copy from the copy, then that copy will be inferior to the first copy and so on. The best thing to do is always copy from the original and that way you don’t lose any of the detail. Dads, if you want to make a good copy, then you will copy Christ in your life and teach your kids to do the same. What does this Source of Wisdom do? He has successful wisdom ready to be used by His saints. He protects those who follow the path of truth. He guards the decisions that you make. Not only does he guard it but He also upholds it. One of the aspects of God’s personality is that He is active and that is what we see here. When you seek for true wisdom you find not a formula or an equation like E=mc2 but instead you find a living, active, loving God who will guide you through life.
What do you find when you desire wisdom? You find God! Notice too that wisdom is bound up in the fear of the Lord. This is something that Solomon makes clear later in the book when he says in 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” This fear I s like a fear of a hot stove. If it is not approached in the correct manner it will hurt you. Therefore it demands your respect and awe. If you are to know wisdom then you must approach the source in the correct manner or He will harm you for your own good. God is the source of wisdom and so when you search for wisdom you find Him. And this is Yahweh, the “I am,” the “self existent One,” who gives this wisdom. That only makes sense, right? The one who can exist apart from anything else and who made everything is only One who can give wisdom. This is important for you dads. You can teach your kids the wisdom that you posses in and of yourself and if they receive it, they will be at best as wise as you, but the truly wise dad will recognize that true wisdom comes from God and he will humbly point his children to the source of all wisdom. It is like making copies. You start with an original and you make a copy from it. The copy is inferior to the original, but is nonetheless similar. If you copy from the copy, then that copy will be inferior to the first copy and so on. The best thing to do is always copy from the original and that way you don’t lose any of the detail. Dads, if you want to make a good copy, then you will copy Christ in your life and teach your kids to do the same. What does this Source of Wisdom do? He has successful wisdom ready to be used by His saints. He protects those who follow the path of truth. He guards the decisions that you make. Not only does he guard it but He also upholds it. One of the aspects of God’s personality is that He is active and that is what we see here. When you seek for true wisdom you find not a formula or an equation like E=mc2 but instead you find a living, active, loving God who will guide you through life.
Proverbs 2:9–10 NASB95
9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
We have seen the source of wisdom and now we are ready for the result of wisdom. In other words, what happens when the Source of Wisdom does His work in you life? Verse 9 says that you will be able to distinguish what is right and just from what is evil and you will know how to make your path the straightest. Dad’s that is very important when you are leading your family and giving advise to your children when they ask. How is this possible? Wisdom will become a part of you, it will enter into the very core of your being and it will give you great joy to learn.
We have seen the source of wisdom and now we are ready for the result of wisdom. In other words, what happens when the Source of Wisdom does His work in you life? Verse 9 says that you will be able to distinguish what is right and just from what is evil and you will know how to make your path the straightest. Dad’s that is very important when you are leading your family and giving advise to your children when they ask. How is this possible? Wisdom will become a part of you, it will enter into the very core of your being and it will give you great joy to learn.
Proverbs 2:11–15 NASB95
11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things; 13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who delight in doing evil And rejoice in the perversity of evil; 15 Whose paths are crooked, And who are devious in their ways;
Verses 11-15 describe the protection that wisdom provides. Discretion here is the ability to make proper decisions. Some Christians have strange ideas about determining the will of God for their lives but if wisdom has entered into you heart and knowledge is pleasant to you soul, then God will use that to protect you from making poor decisions and He will use understanding to keep you from danger which is the idea of watching over. “Solomon, how about an example to help us understand.” OK. Wisdom will keep you from people who follow the way of evil, from those who speak bad things, whose lives are going down the wrong path, who enjoy doing evil and devious things. What dad doesn’t want to protect his children from people like this? Godly dads don’t want their kids falling into the wrong crowd that is going to go out drinking, smoking, or racing their cars on the street. But I want you to notice what Solomon says here. Who does he say will protect his son from these things? Not himself, but wisdom! I have seen to many dads who try to protect their kids from every form of evil on the planet but never give them the one thing that can protect them the most from all of those things, wisdom. Dads, you have a responsibility to pass on the wisdom of God to your kids, not just protect them, because you can only protect them for so long, but if you can teach them wisdom from the source, which includes introducing them to the source through Jesus Christ, then they will be protected all of their lives. Dads, passing on the wisdom of God takes time, patience, and a desire on your part to seek after wisdom yourself.
Verses 11-15 describe the protection that wisdom provides. Discretion here is the ability to make proper decisions. Some Christians have strange ideas about determining the will of God for their lives but if wisdom has entered into you heart and knowledge is pleasant to you soul, then God will use that to protect you from making poor decisions and He will use understanding to keep you from danger which is the idea of watching over. “Solomon, how about an example to help us understand.” OK. Wisdom will keep you from people who follow the way of evil, from those who speak bad things, whose lives are going down the wrong path, who enjoy doing evil and devious things. What dad doesn’t want to protect his children from people like this? Godly dads don’t want their kids falling into the wrong crowd that is going to go out drinking, smoking, or racing their cars on the street. But I want you to notice what Solomon says here. Who does he say will protect his son from these things? Not himself, but wisdom! I have seen to many dads who try to protect their kids from every form of evil on the planet but never give them the one thing that can protect them the most from all of those things, wisdom. Dads, you have a responsibility to pass on the wisdom of God to your kids, not just protect them, because you can only protect them for so long, but if you can teach them wisdom from the source, which includes introducing them to the source through Jesus Christ, then they will be protected all of their lives. Dads, passing on the wisdom of God takes time, patience, and a desire on your part to seek after wisdom yourself.
What about the rest of us who aren’t dads? Today is a day to honor fathers and I encourage you to do something special for your dad today especially thank him for passing on the wisdom that he has learned from God. There may be some here who don’t have wise fathers or your father has passed on already and if that is the case then remember that you have heavenly Father and you thank Him and honor Him today.
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