Proverbs 13:1

A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.


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Measure your wisdom. Answer one question honestly. Do you like to be corrected by someone you know has faults himself? Solomon in Proverbs emphasized this mark of great men often (Pr 1:5; 8:17; 9:7-9; 12:1; 13:18; 15:5,12,31-32; 23:9; Psalm 32:8-9).

Sons live with fathers and see their faults, ignorance, and sins. These sons, filled with the sinful folly of youth, do not like being told what to do by anyone, let alone this man they know also has faults. So they face a constant, difficult choice – to submit or to rebel.

There is a God in heaven, and He has spoken: obey and honor your father. What is His cure for scornful sons? Capital punishment! Simple, appropriate, perfect! Tremble before God and your father (Pr 20:20; 30:17; Ex 21:15,17; Lev 20:9; Deut 21:18-21; 27:16).

Young man, God chose one man out of two billion to be your father. He did not ask either of you about the matter. The relationship was by His choice, and He gave him the office of father and 20-40 years of wisdom and experience before you were even born.

Authority in this world is imperfect. No father, husband, employer, or king is perfect. They make mistakes, and many of them. But it does not matter, for the office is to be feared, obeyed, reverenced, and trusted. This is the ordinance of God. Anyone debating it is a brute beast needing to be destroyed (II Peter 2:10-12; Jude 1:8-10; Romans 13:1-7).

Why else should you listen to your father? Consider. Fathers are handpicked by God, have experience you do not have, are emotionally stable, are not on a testosterone high, love you protectively, value your future, have much more knowledge, have a charge from God, know about loss and pain from foolishness, and live and sleep with your mother!

If you reject your father’s instruction, you are a scorner – one of the worst names in the Bible (Pr 15:12; 24:9). You are worse than a fool (Pr 12:1). You are an arrogant loser (Pr 26:12). You think yourself wise, but you are a brutish idiot (Pr 26:16; 21:24). You cause much of the world’s trouble, and the world is better when you are gone (Pr 22:10; 29:8).

Of things young men must flee, the traits of the scorner are very important. God will not be mocked, and all scorners will be punished (Pr 15:10; 29:1; 19:25; 21:11; Is 29:20-21). So it is a rule of the godly man’s life to avoid even the seat of the scornful (Ps 1:1). All scorners should be marked, avoided, and despised as profane and dangerous criminals.

Eli warned and rebuked his profane sons, Hophni and Phineas, but they did not hear their father’s instruction, for the LORD had already purposed to destroy them (I Sam 2:25). If you presume to reject the admonition of those the LORD sends, as a father or pastor, how far are you from similar, certain judgment (II Chron 36:16)? Rejecting the messengers God sends is truly rejecting Him (I Sam 8:7; Exodus 16:8; Luke 10:16). Beware!

This rule of wisdom applies as well to all other offices of authority and instruction. Young woman, do you hear your father and mother’s instruction? Married woman, do you hear your husband’s requests? Employees, do you hear your employer’s instruction? You daily face a choice – will you hear and reverence instruction, or scornfully reject it?

Men arrive in this world ignorant and foolish, and the great and kind God of heaven in wisdom provides parents, husbands, masters, pastors, and magistrates to teach and guide them through life. Without these teachers, the world would be chaos and anarchy. How do you receive their instruction? As a wise man, or a fool? Or even worse, as a scorner?

How hard is it for you to receive the instruction, correction, warning, and rebuke of the man of God? You know he is a sinner as yourself, and you may see the weakness of his flesh. Yet he stands and speaks as an ambassador of the Blessed and Only Potentate, and disdain for him or his instruction will bring judgment (I Thess 5:12-13; Heb 13:7,17).

You have a great example to follow in this matter. The Lord Jesus Christ was taught by His Father, and He rejoiced to hear and do every command, even at a young age (Is 50:4-5; Luke 2:49; John 8:29). When it involved the sacrifice of His own life, He learned obedience and became perfect through suffering (Heb 5:7-9). Let Him be your example!