Bible Reading Blog
“Please Listen!”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: Proverbs 1-5
“Don’t do that.” I feel like I say that 100 times a day to my two-year-old. She’s constantly trying to touch and grab everything, without thought of consequences. Sometimes I bark this out of frustration, but almost always I say it to keep her from having to suffer the consequences of bad choices. Even so, she still wants to sit on the edge of the couch... and inevitably she falls off.
It’s frustrating when you want to help someone but they won’t listen, especially when it is your kids. In Proverbs, the father repeatedly encourages his son to listen, hear and receive his words (Proverbs 1.8; 2.1; 3.1; 4.1; 5.1). I think these repetitions show us the father’s heart as he pleads with his son to learn from his mistakes and the wisdom he gained. Do you think the son listened?
I know from experience that children often do things their own way, even if the advice is good. But if we’re honest, sometimes we revert to our child-like tendencies. Isaiah said we are all like sheep going astray (Isaiah 53.6), and the father emphasizes how we tend to run down the path that seems right to us (Proverbs 14.12; 16.25).
The scriptures often refer to us as children (Ephesians 5.1; Philippians 2.15; 1 John 3.1-2) because we tend to be stubborn, forgetful, or self-sufficient. We don’t listen or accept advice well. This is especially true when it comes to wisdom from God (Isaiah 6.10; Jeremiah 5.21; Matthew 13.15).
The father-son relationship on display in Proverbs is the same dynamic we experience with God. He offers us wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 3.11-12; Hebrews 12.5-11) in hopes of keeping us from danger and bringing us closer to him (Ephesians 2.12-17). Do we listen to our Father?
The wisdom in Proverbs offers practical truths we all need. It matters who your friends are (1.10-19), how you spend your money (3.9-10), and what information you allow into your mind (5.7-14). It matters where you walk and how you walk (2.1-22). Through the Spirit, God is saying, “Please listen to me... For your good, to help you learn from the mistakes of others." These truths reflect the wisdom from our Heavenly Father, who pleads with us to be warned and changed.
We must be mature enough to not only we accept his words, but apply them to our life. Just because the consequences are delayed does not mean we know better. If we get too close to the edge of the couch, there are dangers. Let us never be so foolish to think we will not fall (1 Corinthians 10.12).
“Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts...” (Hebrews 4.7)
“...do not refuse him who is speaking to you.” (Hebrews 12.25)