PROVERB PRACTICALS  

 

Proverbs 4:10-17, Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

Given at a Teacher Training Session

Being people of the Book, not people of every passing fad and fancy.

Talk about my wifeís love of cook books and in the kitchen she is a person of the book. Teachers must be people of the book. Hear what Molly Irvins, a liberal columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote about education reform in her column in the Pensacola News Journal last week:

"One thing we know about education reform is that it takes 10 to 20 years before we can see any results, before we can tell whether what weíve tried is working."

Are you willing to put a name tag on your child declaring him or her to be guinea pig? You donít have to if you are teachers of the book. This school is not a laboratory, or a research institute. It is a school devoted to the proven principles of the Word of God. It is a school of the book. And as long as you are a teacher who lives by the book you will be successful teaching in this institution.

Proverbs 4:10-17,  Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

The father who speaks here is an instructing father but in order to instruct he knows he must first establish his authority, an authority to be obeyed.

First things first!

In other words, if I am to be a father in the true sense, I have to instruct, but those that I instruct must respect my authority if they are to have understanding.

He knows, as Christ and Paul instructed, that unless authority is respected no true instruction can take place.

James reported in James 4:6-10 that,  God resisteth the proud,

Now remember who the proud are, the proud are the know-it-alls.

If you are a know it all, you do not need instruction, do you, because you know it all.

Donít tell me because I know it all!

A know it all does not listen, a know it all just speaks.

Take a roll call in your classrooms, the first day.

They will be there, the know-it-alls.

But make sure that you are not on that list?

But James tells us this principle.

God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. The humble are those that can be taught.

He says: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

God resisteth the proud and in that resistance is a resistance to instruct.

When he tells the proud to back off, he says I am not going to instruct you.

You see, God resisteth the proud, and includes in that resistance, a resistance to instruct.

God will not instruct the proud.

If a man wishes to be ignorant God will allow him to be ignorant and he will not push himself upon that proud person.

Why? Because that proud person knows it all.

But what James is describing here is a person who can be taught.

A humble person, a person who knows that he is what God says he is.

Thatís what a humble person is. A person who knows what God says he is.

Donít you have to agree with God before you can be saved?

Donít you have to come to the place where you acknowledge that you are a sinner who comes short of the glory of God and not fit to be in the presence of God.

A person who has to be made fit by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Not an arrogant person who believes he knows it all and has no need of instruction.

One man has said that A know-it-all always seems to have the solution to every problem right in the hollow of his head.

Another has said that a smart aleck knows everything, except how to keep others from thinking him a fool.

Why is it that when two know-it-alls get together; they always disagree?

How can that be? Donít they know it all?

But wisdom dictates that if instruction is to be effective there must be humility on the part of those being instructed.

This is a basic. You want to instruct your children in your class? Youíve got to have humble children.

The Apostle Paul wrote in the same manner in I Corinthians 14:36-40.

He claimed the authority of the Lord when he wrote to the Corinthians.

You know if a man claims the authority of the Lord like Paul did, and Paul was an apostle to the gentiles, you better pay attention.

He said that If they chose to not acknowledge or respect his authority he said that if any may be ignorant let him be ignorant still.

I am not going to go out of my way to instruct you.

Oh, Paul arenít you compassionate? Donít you have a heart for these folks.

But Paul comes back and says I cannot instruct those who will not respect my authority.

Itís a principle and you canít get around principles.

Compassion or a sweet disposition or compromise wonít cut through the principles that God has established.

Paul knew that he could not teach anyone who did not respect his authority and that it was hopeless to try to teach them.

He wrote in I CorinthiansÖÖÖ."let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord."

That says it all doesnít it?

You had better respect my authority because I speak in the name of the Lord.

The Pastor can say that, a father or mother can say that, a teacher can say that if he or she is in the word, and guided by the Holy Spirit to walk according to the word.

They can say, youíd better respect my authority because I speak in the name of the Lord.

And also ÖÖ.Let all things be done decently and in order.

So weíve learned that there is to be an order to instruction and this proverbs father follows that order.

A wise teacher will follow this father.

Now look about the order of this.

There has to be an acknowledgment of the validity of the authority if instruction and understanding is to take place.

Even a child knows that.

Have you ever heard a child say to one who told him to do something, Youíre not my father! You canít tell me what to do.

Perhaps some of you K-4 teachers will hear that next week.

A little child will be in your classroom away from father and mother for the first time.

Who are you to tell him or her what to do?

What are you trying to do?

You donít have any authority the child is basically saying.

Doesnít know all those big words, but knows it in his heart.

You are going to have to become his father, his mother in that classroom.

A repentance on the part of that child must take place in order for you to effectively instruct.

This is exactly what takes place with repentance, a recognition and yielding to authority.

It is a yielding of yourself to authority, it is the yielding of that little child to your authority.

Without it, instruction cannot take place.

Oh, Lord, why donít you help these blind folk?

If a man be blind, let him be blind, there has not been repentance.

There has not been a turning away from themselves - to a turning to God.

So instruction cannot take place without repentance or a yielding to authority.

God will not conform to the image of his son, those who do not respect his authority and repentance is the point where a man or woman respects Godís authority.

A yielding of yourself and your own way to Godís way.

It is the point where a man or woman agrees with God who said "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way."

My authority, I am the authority of my life.

But repentance says, thatís wrong.

Repentance says that God is the authority in your life and youíd better turn to him and yield yourself to him.

Salvation means that a person has now received God as his father, which means he has received God as the authority over him.

Remember that verse in Romans where Paul cries out Abba Father.

What is that? That is what takes place after repentance when the Lord receives you as a son and a father-son relationship is an authority relationship.

You are going your own way and God says Come unto me which means yield yourself from your own authority to my authority and Iíll receive you as a son and now I have authority over you willingly.

That is what salvation does.

You are born again, old things are passed away which means old authorities in your life are gone and now you have a new authority in your life.

The son ceases to turn to his own way and now turns to his fatherís way and hears him, attends to him and understands.

At the moment of your conversion, at the moment of your new birth, God is waiting to start that process to conform you to his son.

Heís waiting. Heís saying, Iím glad I can conform this person, my new son, my new daughter, to my Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and Iím going to begin the process of instruction.

I couldnít instruct before but now I can instruct.

Once I was blind but now I can see! What happened?

I yielded my authority to another, though repentance.

Without that repentance, without that yielding there can be no instruction.

And that is the same thing in your homes and in your classrooms.

That is exactly the same thing that takes place in a fatherís or motherís home.

When children come into the home there has to be that process of making that child your son or daughter.

You say, this document says that.

Yeah, it says that but now youíve got to make it true.

You may have children in the home, they may not be your sons and daughters.

Oh, that is a shock, isnít it?

Well if you are not the authority over them and they have not recognized your authority over them then they are simply to be described by a nasty word for illegitimate child.

They simply do not belong to you. They do not cry Abba Father!

Paul was saying to the Corinthians, accept me as your father with the authority of a father.

That is what a father says, that is what a mother says and they make it happen.

He knew what decently and in order meant in regard to exercising authority.

And a part of things done decently and in order is to establish your authority in order for instruction to be obeyed.

It is such a simple principle.

We try to instruct, when we havenít established our authority, we havenít had repentance on the part of those under authority.

There has to be repentance on the part of others.

There has to be a recognition that I donít know it all.

Even if you work in a office or in the field there has to be that repentance that you do not know it all.

Your boss can never instruct you if you know it all so there has to be repentance on the part of you in the office, there has to be repentance on the part of you in the field, a turning away from your own authority to the authority of others.

Fathers and mothers must do it, pastors and teachers must do it, supervisors must do it.

You may have the name of father or of mother or of teacher or of supervisor but each of these have to establish that fact by exercising the authority that God has given them.

Make the name real. Are you a teacher? Make it real.

Are you a supervisor? Make it real. Are you a father of a mother? Make it real!

Make it real by exercising the authority that God has given you.

There has to be a humble spirit in order for instruction to be effective.

If you expect your students to hear, if you expect your students to attend, and therefore if they hear and attend and therefore receive understanding they must be humble children, children who respect the authority that God has placed over them.

Get that first!

Children must have a fear of those who are in God given places of authority.

For the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, but it does not end there, and that fear also ought to extend to those to whom the Lord gives authority.

It all comes down. If we are to fear the Lord, we are to fear those that have authority over us.

Makes a difference in how you respond.

You know teachers who do not respond to the Principalís commands, there is something wrong.

They donít have a fear and maybe there is a problem with the authority of the Principal.

There has to be a fear of your boss. There has to be a fear of your Pastor.

The son has to have a fear of his father.

If you cannot fear those who are above you that you can see how can you fear God whom you do not see?

So this Proverbs father has made sure that all things are done decently and in order concerning his authority and instruction from authority.

First things first.

A recognition of authority in the home and then comes a recognition of the authority of God.

There has to be an evolution, an evolution of knowledge in the child.

He lives in a home where authority is present, he knows that his father is one to be obeyed and that will carry him to the next step of allegiance to the Lord.

Oh, without it, but for the grace of God it doesnít happen.

He makes sure this is done before he gets into the specifics of these next proverbs.

He establishes this foundation within his home.

You know one thing a teacher should do in a classroom even if it takes weeks, is to establish this very thing.

You know teachers are so anxious to get the instruction going.

Iíve got to get though this body of knowledge.

Well you are interested in volume.

You are not interested in understanding.

First things first, got to establish yourself as the authority in that classroom.

If it takes weeks, take weeks.

The Principle will give you permission.

Take weeks, for it is that important because if you never establish that, if you could measure understanding on some sort of a scale youíll far surpass that scale if you establish this in the classroom.

In other words youíll be the tortoise.

The teacher that teaches volumes will be the hare and youíll be the tortoise and pretty soon youíll beat the hare.

By great lengths.

First things first. Let all things be done decently and in order, and that includes this very much so, doesnít it.

Proverbs 4:14-17,  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

Now he doesnít stop there, he doesnít say heís got it, Iíll stop there but he amplifies it, he adds to it, he puts more burdens on it so the child is straining under the load of the burdens of his talk.

You know that is what motherís words and father words are to be, burdens that you are to carry through your life.

I remember things that my mother and father told me when I was a little boy that have kept me in good stead all my life.

They were burdens, good burdens to carry.

So the little child is looking at his father intently, eye to eye, heís heard the admonition to enter not, and the father continues:

Avoid it, (avoid the path son, donít go near the pass son, this is so important to me, emotion perhaps wells up in the father because of the seriousness of the instruction, it is not just casual instruction, not just passing by instruction, but serious instruction

Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

Oh how intent this father is in his instruction and then he says this:

For they sleep not, except they have done mischief;

theyíve got a scorecard and theyíve got a check off box that theyíve got to check off so that they can sleep and those check offs have to be against mischief

and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

Thatís how dangerous son it is to enter into this path:

For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

So we see that the first instruction, the first specific instruction, now that he is passed establishing the foundation, to the son has to do with whom he lends his ear.

Who will be his instructor? Who will command his ear?

And much of his conclusion has to do with his understanding of his heart.

How does he view his heart?

Does he see it as the Bible sees it?

If he is humble he will.

Does he understand that in himself dwelleth no good thing?

Does he realize that his heart is deceitful and desperately wicked?

Will his view of his heart cause him to ask, What harm is there if this or that path is chosen?

This path looks interesting, he may say.

Perhaps a short trip upon this path will help in making choices.

He may say: "Some of those instructors I have chosen to listen to have said you must experience before you can make choices."

But this Proverbs father disagrees and takes an authoritative and clear position about wickedness and experimentation with evil.

There is to be no communication with it.

No experience with it, no not one contact with it.

Zero tolerance. Not one step on the path.

Not one step to see how soft or hard is the path.

This father knows that the path of the wicked, the way of evil men will be presented to his son.

He knows that his son will have choices to make but he intends that choices made early on the path will see him in good stead.

This father knows that he has a limited time to arm his son against the wiles of the devil.

Time marches on! Tempus fugit! Time flies!

Son, as you go along the way of life you will be faced with the path of the wicked.

It will be before you and present you with alluring sights that are designed to entice you to enter its path.

The Lord says in his word to taste and see, but the message of the world is to see and taste.

One is built on faith, taste and see but the other is built on sight, see and taste.

Godís way is designed to use your ear gate, the worldís way is to use your eye gate.

Taste and then see, or see and then taste.

That is why television is so successful for it caters to the eye gate.

The heart of man is geared toward appearance for appearance promotes hypocrisy and man is interested in the development of the most sophisticated forms of hypocrisy.

And man rejoices in it and willingly participates in it for it is something that man can do, he can be made to appear however he wants to appear.

One man has said that we will never again elect a homely president for all prospective candidates must pass the appearance test of the eye gate over, over, and over as they project themselves on television.

It will no longer be the most qualified but the most handsome or pretty who will represent us for man looketh on the outward appearance and the devil is using that principle to fully promote his cause.

But this father instructs his son to enter not in this kind of thinking, enter not into the path or thought processes of the wicked.

I have given you good doctrine to think upon, to guide your mind around the stumbling blocks of the thinking processes of this world system.

So do not even consider the path of the wicked.

The wicked stay up nights and sleep not in order to concoct mischief to entrap you.

The devil rewards their dedication with the bread of wickedness, and the wine of violence.

The world provides for its own with great rewards for new and exciting ways to present and promote wickedness.