Following Instruction Will Spare You Sorrow

It seems that even the obvious things in life can’t be taken for granted: After a woman sued McDonalds because she wasn’t warned her coffee was hot, companies are changing their instruction manuals and product warning labels to cover themselves from liability. Listen to a few of … More

Instruction

How many times have you been tempted by some type of a get rich quick scheme? It is said that two out of three adults participate in some form of gambling. Out of these 80% never receive anything in return. Even if you were to win, wealth that is gotten in a fraudulent manner vanishes (v. 11). On the other hand, money that a person works for is usually appreciated more and can gradually and progressively increase because of careful stewardship. It is good for a person to have hope. However, continuous frustration of ones hopes will produce sickness of heart (v. 12). But when hope is fulfilled a person is refreshed and much fruit can spring forth. The fulfillment of desires is a tree of life.

To despise instruction results in a person having to make a payment of shame and punishment. But the person who respects instruction to the point of following it will be preserved from the sorrows of the transgressor (v.13). Pharaoh and Saul are examples of those who despised the word and had to suffer much grief because of it. This speaks loudly to any who want to have their own way and ignore the commandments of the Lord. Normally, a person’s conduct is consistent with his character. True wisdom in this life is shown by a person being in subjection to God and obeying the knowledge that His word imparts (v. 14). It is the fool who shows his folly by turning a deaf ear to the voice of truth and spreads his wares before the eyes of all men (v. 15).

Application

I must be careful about my attitude toward the Word of God. It is very important that it does not become just another academic book to me. There is a real danger of this in Christian schools today.

Proverbs 13:11-15 (English Standard Version)

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.

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