Proverbs Sermon Series part two. We are now on the second part of our Proverbs Sermon Series. And God has been so good with the knowledge and wisdom that we gained and we can gain as we continue to study the book of Proverbs.
In this part of the series, we will be studying the 10 speeches given by a father to a son and will continue with the four poems given by “Lady Wisdom” in the next article. This part of the series will help us understand more the literary design of the book of Proverbs and the purpose of the introductory chapters, chapters 1 to 9, through the ten speeches of a father to a son.
But before we go to our topic for today, in case you missed out on the first part of our series, you can simply click here to check out our first Proverbs Sermon Series.
Proverbs Sermon Series: The Father’s 10 Speeches
As we have discussed in the first part of our series, the 10 speeches contain certain instructions about how the son should carefully listen to wisdom and cultivate the fear of the Lord. It also encourages the son to live a life of virtue, integrity, and generosity. These will help the son live a life of success and peace.
Aside from that, these speeches also contain warnings about folly, evil, and stupid decisions that may or will lead to cultivating selfishness and pride –– all leading to ruin and shame.
So, without further ado, here are the ten speeches given by a father to a son that contains certain instructions and commands about how to live a successful and meaningful life.
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”
This passage is actually a reminder for us to always listen to God’s instruction and the teachings of “lady wisdom”. It reminds us to always put the instructions in our head and wrap them around our neck (See verse 9) so that we can overcome the invitation of sinful men.
2. Proverbs 2:1-5
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
The second speech gives us specific instructions on how to gain wisdom. These instructions require actions to actually gain and understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
It requires us to search for wisdom as if we are looking for a hidden treasure. This means that wisdom cannot be easily found unless we have a true and sincere motivation in looking for it.
3. Proverbs 3:1-2
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.”
The third speech contains a reminder for the son not to forget his teachings. This means that the son should obey and follow his teachings and commands. And the father does not just want simple outward obedience, but he specified that the son should keep the commandments by heart.
Likewise, we Christians should obey God’s commands and put His Word into our hearts. Not just for the sake of compliance, but because of the understanding that this is what the father wants. And the results of following these commands by heart are long life, peace, and prosperity.
4. Proverbs 3:11-12
“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son, he delights in.”
This part of the speech shows us that the discipline that God gives to his children is not to show terror or wrath, but it is to show His care and love for us. For in this passage, it is specified that God disciplines those He loves.
So, our response should not be resentment or despise towards God. We should not even blame God for His discipline for us. Instead, we should accept His discipline wholeheartedly and continue to do our best to grow in His righteousness.
5. Proverbs 4:1-9
“Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”
This passage is the fifth speech by the father. It started with “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;” and proceeded with “For I too was a son to my father”. This just shows that wisdom is a family heritage. The father taught his son just like how he was taught by his father.
Aside from this, the father is saying that in order for us to grasp the beginning of wisdom is to get wisdom. And no matter what it costs us, we should always get it. This just proves that wisdom is far greater than material things. For we can easily attain material things if we have wisdom, but we cannot attain wisdom if we only look for material things.
6. Proverbs 4:10-19
“Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.”
This sixth speech contains a key theme that shows two different ways that lead to a straight path of wisdom and on the path of the wicked. This specific speech is telling us not to walk in the path of the wicked and the consequences of having to walk in this path.
Aside from that, this speech also shows the benefits of walking in the way of wisdom that leads to a straight path. It gives assurance that whenever we have wisdom, our lives are protected. But this promise contains a condition; the condition to hold on to the instructions, never let it go, and to guard it well.
7. Proverbs 4:20-27
“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
In this seventh speech, most of the contents are common instructions found in the other speeches. But this speech mentions a specific instruction: “Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.”
This means that we should not allow our mouths to release corrupt and perverse words. Instead, we should fill it with praises, worship, thanksgiving, goodness, and righteousness.
8. Entire Proverbs 5
“My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end, she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.”
The eighth speech contains the words “discretion” and “knowledge”. These words refer to the folly of adultery and the wisdom of marriage. But this speech raised a question of whether the passage is talking about the lady wisdom or about marriage.
But the answer to that question can be both. Because although we can only find true satisfaction in our relationship with God, it is also wisdom to find this kind of satisfaction in your wife and not in adultery.
9. Proverbs 6:20-35
“My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life, keeping you from your neighbor’s wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes. For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished. People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.”
The contents of this ninth speech are also common in the other speeches. It reminds us again to always follow the commands and not to forsake the mother’s teachings. It also gives another reminder to always put the instructions by heart and not just outward obedience.
10. Entire Proverbs 7
“My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.” They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words.”
This tenth speech contains the final reminders to keep and store the commands within us. It also gives a final reminder that we should embrace the “lady wisdom” and not the folly wisdom. We should treat the “lady wisdom” like our family, like our own, and she will keep us away from the folly wisdom.
This marks the end of part two of our Proverbs Sermon Series. And if you are confused with the “lady wisdom” that we talked about in the speeches, do not worry because we will discuss who or what “lady wisdom” is and her four poems in our next article.
So, to continue with our Proverbs Sermon Series. Click here for part three: The Poems of Lady Wisdom.