Proverbs 7, My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening , in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
God gives us in this chapter of Proverbs a glimpse of what the disregarding of the fatherís word will bring.
You can read it as the words of a earthly father to his son or you can read it as the words of our heavenly father to you.
It applies whatever situation you are in.
If you do not have an earthly father you cannot ignore the fact that you can have a heavenly father.
God provides one or both ways.
Romans 8:14-16, For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
There is no excuse for ignorance.
The instruction of this father includes an experience that the father has viewed from his window and he wants to impart that experience to his son so that his son does not fall the same way that the young man, void of understanding, fell.
Fatherís are to note this pattern of instruction.
This pattern is the showing, in clear detail, the son what the results have been in the lives of others because they did not heed the word of the father.
So Proverbs 7 is a proverb upholding words and commandments.
As is the case in most of the Proverbs there is instruction given so that a desired result will follow.
That is what training is to be about.
Training is given so that predictable results will follow.
Teacher training at the beginning of each school year is given, not just to be given so as to check off some item on a list of goals but it is given in order that predictable results will follow throughout the school year.
Teachers must know the school policies and rules, they must know what is the mission of the school, what is to be accomplished in the lives of their students.
All things must be working together to achieve a desired result in the school.
I remember the training that I received from the Navy after I had been given orders to go to Vietnam in 1968, 34 years ago this month.
I had received training before this in order to become a Naval Officer but I was about to face something different than I had faced in that earlier training.
In order to comply with these new orders I had to have specialized training to equip me for the war in Vietnam.
The Navy ordered me to receive training before I went to that theater of war in hopes that predictable results would follow.
And those predictable results were for me to survive and to return home to the Navy for further service.
Part of that training concerned the care and use of weapons, such as the M-16 rifle; which some say was and the finest military rifle ever made.
I was instructed in the mechanics of this weapon, the ammunition used in the weapon, how to load, how to aim, how to fire and how to clean and care for the rifle.
The rifle was easy to care for.
Each man carried a rifle rod, a wad of bore patches, and LSA silicone lubricant, to clean the rifle.
The rifle split in two for cleaning.
You removed a pin and it opened like a shotgun opens.
The entire bolt and firing pin group came out for disassembly and cleaning.
I was glad to know such good information because I was going to a place where these weapons, or weapons like them were being used by people who would put a notch on their belt after they had killed me.
My defense was centered on those weapons and it was a matter of life or death to learn and be prepared to use those weapons.
Now the Word of God is like this.
We are told that there are enemies that we will face and that we are to be equipped to face those enemies and to be victorious over those enemies.
We have enemies but God does not leave us defenseless.
He doesnít take away the enemies but he provides for us to be victorious over those enemies.
The Navy gave me instruction in the use of the M-16.
It was up to me to take that instruction seriously and to pay attention and not slough it off thinking the instruction would do me no good.
The Navy did its job by giving me instruction, by giving me the rifle, but I had a responsibility to take hold of that instruction and make it profitable when or if the time ever came where defense of my life was necessary.
Now the father in the proverbs is equipping his son with the M-16 of wisdom and understanding.
He is not expecting his son to engage in the battles of life without the proper ammunition to defend himself.
Any father who does not prepare his son for the realities of this world is not carrying out his God given responsibilities and has not earned the name of father.
Note what the father says here.
Note what his ammunition consists of.
My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
Words, commandments, and law.
We may think that the ammunition that is used in modern weapons is powerful,
we may glory in the smart weapons that we hear of in our current war and on the horizon as they practice bomb at Eglin Air Force Base,
but the fatherís words, commandments and law have eternal power in the sonís life that cannot be matched by any weapon known to man.
My son, keep my words. These words are powerful!
Now if words are to be kept they must be given by one to another.
Words not given cannot be kept for they will not be known.
It is the fatherís responsibility to give his word to his son.
Godís word always provide the ideal pattern.
In this life where sin is a factor of life the ideal pattern cannot always be followed.
But the ideal provided by the scriptures is for the father to teach the son.
The ideal is for the word of God to be imparted early on in the home by the father to the son.
Now of course the mother is involved because the father and mother are one and the scriptures provide for her part but her part is to be under the authority of the father in accordance with the ideal pattern.
So fathers are to give words to their son.
God does not intend for fathers to be silent, but He intends for fathers to give words.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, as told us in the book of John.
For God so loved the world that he gave his word (Jesus Christ is the word made flesh) to the world.
That is the pattern.
Love is evidenced by the giving of the word.
Why does a father use a rod? So that his word is heard, thatís all, so that his word is heard.
And Lack of love is evidenced by the withholding of the word.
Silent fathers then do not match the pattern that God has provided in Jesus Christ.
The Proverbs father says: Keep my words.
This word "keep" means to hedge about.
Have you ever tried to go though a hedge.
It is not an easy task.
My nephews from Melbourne, Florida visit from time to time.
When they are here I try to give them challenges to test their meddle.
It is good for boys to face challenges so I told them to penetrate a large bamboo patch in our front circle.
Now that is quite a challenge but they persevered and fought their way inch by inch and made it through and they are the better boys for it.
They will not forget that accomplishment.
But a hedge provides resistance to passage.
So the fatherís words are to provide a similar barrier to the son that only willful and vigorous rebellion by the son will allow the son to disregard his words.
That is the kind of hurdle that the father words are designed to place in front of his sonís progress through life.
The father must make his words serious business, for the lack of obedience to his words will bring serious and eternal consequences.
Do you get the tone of the scriptural message here?
Do you see that the fatherís word is treated with respect?
Do you see that the fatherís word is not given lightly or in frivolity.
Do you understand that when this father speaks everyone listens for this is a Biblical father?