A Father's Instruction
A fool despiseth his father’s instruction
a. Strong’s: one who despises wisdom; one who mocks when guilty; one who is quarrelsome.
b. Dict. of Biblical Languages: without understanding, or one not using one’s capacity for understanding; simpleton; often by stubborn will and stupid behavior.
c. The particular KIND of fool Solomon has in mind is a son (or daughter) who despises the instruction of his father… (or mother).
a. Strong’s: to spurn; contemn; despise; abhor.
b. Dict. of Bib. Lang.: to feel contempt or strong dislike, rejecting as having little or no value; treat with contempt.
c. Stevenson: A deliberate, conscious rejection.
3. His father’s instruction:
a. Strong’s: discipline, chastening, correction.
b. Dict. of Bibl. Languages: warning, the teaching of a principle or axiom for life.
c. Job 5:17 – Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. (chastening = same word as instruction) (similar passage: Prov. 3:11).
4. The response of a foolish son (or daughter) to his father’s instruction
a. What he thinks and feels: He feels contempt for the reproof… he feels insulted that they felt he needed instruction; he strongly dislikes being told what to do; he sees little value in what his parents say; he thinks he knows more than they do.
b. What he does: he rejects the counsel and does what he wants anyway.
c. Prov. 19:27 – Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err.
• Often fools reject wise instruction because they are listening to other voices…
• And these young fools give more credence to what their foolish peers have to say than to the instruction of their parents…
• They reject their father’s instruction because they are listening to the wrong advice.
d. Prov. 12:15 – The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. He does his own thing because of PRIDE.
• His pride blinds him from seeing the issue clearly.
• He thinks his way is right and his father doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
• Hence, because pride is involved, it is not just an intellectual issue; it is a moral issue.
e. Prov. 14:3 – In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride
• The young man is likely to think that his opinions or views are as good as his father’s. He might even think that his knowledge is superior to that of his father.
• After all, his dad is ancient. What does he know about the modern world?
• Young people forget… or never seem to consider that their parents have many years of experience under their belts… the value of which cannot be estimated.
• It is childish pride that causes a son to reject the reproof of a loving father.
• I Pet. 5:5-6 – it takes a healthy dose of humility for a young person to humble themselves and ADMIT that maybe those who are older (especially his parents) really DO have more wisdom than he does.
f. Prov. 14:9 – Fools make a mock at sin.
• Dads warn about the dangers of this sin or that… and a foolish son mocks at sin!
• Either he doesn’t see it as sin… or he doesn’t see it as being all that bad… or he doesn’t see the long term consequences of sin…
• The fool is warned by his parents; mocks at their warning about sin; and commits it anyway!
• He assumes that all of their warnings are overstated and unnecessary… and that it won’t happen to him.
g. Prov. 1:7 – fools despise wisdom and instruction
• It is a characteristic of a fool… to despise instruction.
• They don’t like to be told what to do.
5. The price that foolish son pays:
a. Prov. 15:32 -He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul.
• He does damage to no one but himself… and he will have to live with the consequences of his folly the rest of his days.
• He is ruining his own life… and usually his father can foresee what his future will be like if he continues down that path… but the fool chooses that path anyway…
• He makes choices that are equal to despising his own life.
b. Prov. 10:21 – ...The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom…
• Not only could it ruin his life. It could END it!
• Prov. 15:10 – Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
• When a father hears of his son getting involved in drugs, alcohol, or road racing, gangs, or other forms of dangerous behavior… it COULD end that young life prematurely! It has happened thousands of time.
c. Prov. 11:29 – the fool shall be servant to the wise.
• The fool who follows the path of folly may well end up as a servant to those who LISTENED to good advice and took heed.
• The fool who didn’t listen to his father and decided he wanted to hang out with his friends rather than to go to college might end up in a subservient position to the young person who listened… and took heed.
• Rejecting a father’s instruction could affect the condition of the rest of your life.
• It could be the difference between doing well in life… or struggling just to put food on the table.
• Prov. 13:18 – Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction. (He could end up poor… and ashamed of the path he chose…)
d. Prov. 5:12-13 – And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me.
• He may spend the rest of his days regretting his folly… when it is too late to do anything about it.
• Very often decisions that we make in life are irreversible… the time you spent walking down a pathway in life can never be reversed… you can’t go relive the past… and undo past failures… you have to LIVE with them the rest of your life.
• Young people, your father is not trying to ruin your life.
• He is trying to help you AVOID making foolish choices and having to live with all that regret. He knows best. Listen to him.
• He’s out for your good… more than you may realize.
e. Prov. 27:22 – Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
• Here Solomon suggests that there comes a point in a fool’s life where his folly is SET like cement…
• The rod will drive out folly from a child, but if folly is practiced and practiced… it becomes a lifestyle… it becomes our character… and it may never depart!
• You could become permanently STUCK in a condition of folly.
f. Prov. 12:1 – but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
• Brutish = Stupid – he is learning to become a stupid person…
• How foolish to refuse to take heed to the warnings of a man who has walked the pathway you are about to traverse.
• LISTEN to those who have traveled life’s pathway before you! They have some valuable insight and advice to give.
• Those who refuse to listen pay a serious price… which could adversely affect your health, your wealth, your position in life, your career, your happiness, your family, and even your children, when they come along.