Proverbs 10:8

Responsibility and Consequences

8a The wise in heart shall receive commandments…

1. Wise men are able to take orders… commandments;

a. Obviously, “receiving” the commandments implies obeying the command too!

b. The ability to receive instruction and commandments speaks of a teachable spirit… one who is willing to learn… to be corrected… instructed.

c. Samuel: “speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.” (I Sam. 3:10)

d. The kind of wisdom spoken of here is the wisdom that causes a man (or woman!) to be ready to respond to commands immediately…

e. Can you take orders? Do you have a teachable spirit?

f. Soldiers need to receive orders and carry them out.

g. Workers need to be able to take orders from their boss.

h. Children need to be able to receive orders from their parents… teachers.

i. Wives need to be able to receive orders (??) from their husband.
• With soldiers, there is no such thing as arguing or debating the order.
• Teachers give orders to students every day… homework… essay assignments…
• Soldiers that are wise will take the orders and obey without debate.
• Students that are wise will take the orders and obey without debate.
• Workers that are wise will receive orders from their boss without murmuring and complaining.

j. Wisdom demands that we hear instruction… receive commandments and respond in obedience to authority.
• Prov.1:5 – the wise man will “hear”
• Ps.119:34 – wholehearted desire to obey
• Ps.119:4-5 – pray for a heart to obey… more inclination…
• Ps.119:33-34 – a desire to obey and a resolve to obey!

k. By implication, foolish men are not able to take orders and commandments.
• Prov.1:7 – fools despise wisdom and instruction.
• Prov.19:20 – ‘Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. ‘
• Prov.13:18 – Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

2. The wise man is able to submit to authority;

a. Receiving commandments = submitting to authority.
• Wisdom recognizes authority and responds properly to it.
• Folly bucks against authority…

b. Life is full of situations where we need to take orders from others.
• Home, school, work, local church, government, etc…
• All of these are expressions of receiving commandments from God—who is the ultimate Authority.

c. Gen.18:19 – Fathers are to give commandments to their children; children are expected to submit and receive those commandments.
• The foolish son does not submit.
• The wise son will.

d. Ps.119:15 – “respect unto thy ways.” We may not always agree with the commandments set by those in authority… but we should respect them… because it is a reflection of our respect for God—the ultimate Author of all authority.

3. Not stated, though certainly true, the wise man shall receive the BLESSING from obedience; the fool does not.

a. Ps. 25:10 – All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

b. God’s blessing is in the life of the obedient child. God chastens the disobedient child.

c. The son who receives commandments and obeys will be blessed. The one who bucks against authority and does not submit will LACK God’s blessing in their life.

4. We are to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Good soldiers take orders from their commander in chief… no questions asked.

a. Poor soldiers rebel against their orders… their commander… authority…

b. For the military to function properly, soldiers receiving orders is an absolute essential.
• If that breaks down, the military is paralyzed!
• If submission to authority breaks down… chaos results.

c. The same thing is true of the home… submission to authority is essential.

d. The same things is true in school—if you young people want to do well, you will be required to take some orders and assignments that you may not like… you may think it is a waste of time… even foolish. But to learn to take orders well is WISDOM.

e. It will prove beneficial to you in the long run! It will prove beneficial to a school… a home… a country… a church.

8b But a prating fool shall fall…

1. Prating = lip; language; speech (lit. = a fool of lips) (perhaps a big mouth)

a. This big mouth is not into hearing. He is more interested in talking.

b. He isn’t interested in receiving commandments. He thinks he’s too important.

c. Prov. 15:32 – He refuses instruction… to the detriment of his own soul.
• He won’t take advice; won’t listen to counsel; will not be governed; or taught.

2. Prov. 26:12 – a man wise in his own conceit… this is a big mouth, conceited fool who thinks he is above instruction… he thinks he is too important, too smart to humble himself and take orders from someone else. (Who do they think they are anyway?!)

a. A solider with this kind of attitude will receive a dishonorable discharge from the military.

b. A church member with this attitude will cause endless trouble for the local church.

c. A child who refuses to hear instruction but learns to shoot off his/her mouth will find himself in endless trouble… at home… at school… and if not corrected, with the law!

3. The prating fool shall FALL…

a. Fall = come to ruin; thrown down; cast down;

b. The fool who refuses to submit to authority and shoots off his mouth will come to ruin…
• The man who is all tongue usually pays little attention to his feet… his walk… and thus stumbles and falls.
• The student who demonstrates this kind of folly will come to ruin… his studies will suffer.
• The church which has members who demonstrate this kind of folly will come to ruin… unless the insubordination and rebellion is dealt with.
• The army with soldiers who do not take orders will come to ruin…
• The home where the wife refuses to submit… where the children are not made to obey… will come to ruin…

c. Prov.1:29-31 – there are consequences for rejecting counsel… for refusing to hear instruction… to refusing to receive commandments.

d. Don’t you be a prating fool—a fool of lips. Rather be wise and be willing to receive instruction.
• Jas. 1:19 – Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
• Ecc. 5:1-2 – be more ready to hear… be not rash with thy mouth…