Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Wise Father

Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom,
seeing he has no heart for it?
Proverbs 17:16

Know this, that in the last days, perilous times will come.
Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, braggarts,
arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy . . . 
always learning, yet never able to come to a real knowledge of the truth.
2Timothy 3:1-2, 7

The more a fool knows, the bigger fool he becomes.  Knowledge does not make a man wise.  In fact, the acquisition of knowledge can puff men up and keep them from becoming wise.  That is how it is also with the acquisition of money, or fame, or anything else that this world has.  Blessings destroy fools; they do not make them wise.
Understanding is the thing.  When God visited King Solomon and told him to ask for anything, Solomon asked for understanding.  The young king said to God,

1Kings 3
9. “Give your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to judge this, your so great a people?”
10. And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

Solomon knew to ask for understanding because when he was young, his father David had told him how very important it is to have it.

Proverbs 4
3. I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
4. He taught me also, and he said unto me, “Let your heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
5. Get wisdom, get understanding!  Do not forget it; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve you.  Love her, and she shall keep you.
7. Wisdom is the principal thing.  Therefore, get wisdom.  With all your getting, get understanding!”

David was a wise father.  He prepared his son to be visited by God!  He did his duty and prepared Solomon to receive a blessing.
May God help us be circumspect as parents, as David was.  We cannot live our children’s lives for them; parents who try to do that ruin their children.  But we can prepare them to respond to God in a way that will please Him.  David showed us that it can be done, and because he did it, his son was greatly blessed.  Isn’t that the hope of every parent?
I remember feeling God’s conviction when I was in high school, and I remember falling to my knees.  Even while I was praying, I wondered at the prayer I heard coming out of my mouth because I heard myself begging God for understanding!  I had not even planned to pray, and certainly not to pray for that, but I did!  In fact, I was surprised, not only because of what I heard myself praying for but also because of the earnestness of my prayer.  When I knelt down, I suddenly felt desperate for understanding!  I heard myself begging God for it from the bottom of my heart!  I poured out my soul for understanding!
After my prayer ended, I remember walking outside, alone in the night, wondering at what I had just done, and wondering if God heard me, and what it might feel like if He ever answered my prayer.
I think I understand now why I prayed that prayer.  I believe it was because my father had done his job.  I believe that he had sown the seeds of righteousness in my life (though I did not pursue it at that time), and I was responding to the call of God, as my father had shown us to do, both in word and by example.  Of course, my father wanted his children to be able to work and earn enough money to get along in this life.  But somehow, like David with Solomon, he managed to instill in our hearts, in mine at least, the wisdom to know that with all our getting, we must seek God and get an understanding of eternal things.