Proverbs 23:22



The Bible says in Proverbs 23:22, “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” Sons and daughters are told what to do from a positive standpoint: “hearken.” That means to listen to their advice and to their words with respect. Sons and daughters are also told what not to do: do not “despise” the “mother when she is old.” Some people resent their parents, and they keep resenting them as life goes by. One reason is that the parents are not perfect. No one is perfect, but some people want to blame their own failures on the parents. It is hard to believe that someone would despise his mother when she is old. You would think that anyone would have kindness and compassion for his own mother after the years have gone by. But human beings can have very hard hearts when they do not know the Lord.   


The Bible says in Proverbs 23:23, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” By using the word “buy” is giving the message of how important it is to have truth. Truth is more valuable than money. Truth is more valuable than anything. And truth is very rare because many many people do not know truth. Jesus is Truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” If you do not know the truth, you will go to hell. You come to know the Truth when you repent of your sins and trust in Jesus as your Savior. Jesus is the living Word. The Bible is the written Word. God’s Word is truth. If you want to know more about truth, then learn more about the Bible. You need truth, and you also need wisdom. Wisdom comes from God, and we get wisdom by seeking it from God. It says in James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” We definitely need wisdom. How else will we make the right decisions? One of the benefits of being a Christina is that we can ask God for wisdom. In addition to truth and wisdom, we need instruction. If we get the right instruction, we will advance in our knowledge. Knowledge is power. The more that you learn about any subject, the more that your knowledge will become an asset. Knowledge is power. But to get knowledge, you must get instruction, you must learn. You can learn from a teacher (if you have a good teacher), you can learn from books, and you can learn from experience. Just make sure that you learn. Finally, we need “understanding.” What good will it do to learn, if you do not understand what you have learned. One of the other benefits of being a Christian is that we have the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit enlightens us and gives us understanding. Cults and people who teach false doctrines sometimes have knowledge of the scriptures, but they do not have understanding because they do not have the Holy Spirit.  


The Bible says in Proverbs 23:24-25, “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.[25] Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.” Children can be the source of great happiness for parents. That was true for God the Father when He observed Jesus from heaven, and in one of the few times that the Father has spoken from heaven, He said about Jesus in Matthew 3:17, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And so children you have a lot of power over your parents from this perspective: if you want your parents to be happy, then do what it takes to become a “wise child.” That would mean to turn to the Lord Jesus and follow Him.  


The Bible says in Proverbs 23:26-28, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.[27] For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.[28] She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.” There are men who are loose and immoral and there are women who are loose and immoral. The wrong kind of man in this regards is on the prowl to go after women. The wrong kind of woman in this regards is on the prowl to go after men. One of the things that has harmed and even destroyed some young men is to be attracted to the wrong kind of woman. If you know Jesus as Savior, then He has a mate all picked out and prepared for you. You want to find her. You want to find the woman who knows the Lord and who wants to serve the Lord Jesus. You must not go after a woman based upon physical attraction only. Pray, and God will guide your life to meet her just at the right time in your life. Notice that verse 27 says that the man who goes after a loose woman will fall into “a deep ditch” and “a narrow pit.” You will get hurt very badly if you fall into a deep ditch or a pit, and you will be trapped. It will be hard to get out. You can avoid such a disaster by avoiding loose women. God set up life to be this way: you are raised by your mother and father and then you join up with your wife. That is it: very simple, very good, and very decent. That is the way life was meant to be.


The Bible has a lot to say about the dangers of alcohol, and therefore other drugs too because alcohol is a drug. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:29-35, “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?[30] They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.[31] Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.[32] At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.[33] Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.[34] Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.[35] They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.” Verse twenty-nine mentions six things that are among the negative consequences of taking drugs and alcohol. One of the things that will help anyone stay away from alcohol and drugs is to realize the true results of taking them: woe, sorrows, contentions, babbling, wounds without cause, and redness of eyes.


Verse 30 tells us how people come to have a drinking problem. First, obviously, they drink too much. In my opinion the best way to ensure that does not happen is to not drink alcoholic beverages at all. And then it says in verse 30 that those who have problems with drugs and alcohol actually “seek” it. Why would anyone seek something that has all the negative consequences that were mentioned in verse 29? Verse 31 tells the answer to that question by giving a warning: “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” Like all temptations, the drinking of alcohol or the taking of drugs is made to look attractive. The entertainment world has been a willing accomplice with the devil to make alcohol and drug use look desirable, look cool, and look enticing. Ignore the lies, and understand the reality in order to avoid the temptation. For every temptation, God provides the way to escape the temptation. One of the ways to escape the temptation to use drugs or alcohol is to think about how terrible the results have been for the millions of people who became addicts and alcoholics. And then finally, addicts know that what they are doing is destructive because of how much they are suffering, but the strong substances of alcohol and other drugs are habit-forming. And so the addicts conclude, “I will seek it yet again.” Be very careful what you do and what you allow into your life. One act can become a habit, and then that habit can determine your destiny. 


Verse 33 gives another reason that people should avoid drugs and alcohol: “Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.” When you are under the influence of substances of that manner, you will do things that you otherwise would not have done: that includes immorality and lewd speech. The abuse of alcohol is a sin, and that abuse will lead you to even more sins.  


The Bible says in Proverbs 24:1-2, “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. [2] For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” This is a warning that we have heard over and over again in the book of Proverbs starting with the first chapter: stay away from wicked and evil people. Do not accompany them on their forays into their sinful activities. Why are we warned over and over about this? It is such a common problem. It is one of the main reasons that people go away from God and fall into a sinful life-style. Follow the wrong people and you will end up in the wrong place in life. What makes some people evil? Verse 2 tells us: they have a problem in their “heart.” Instead of building and creating and accomplishing, they destroy. How do you identify such people so you can stay away from them? Look at the end of verse 2: “their lips talk of mischief.” Listen to people. The way they talk will give them away.  


The Bible says in Proverbs 24:3-4, “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: [4] And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all pleasant and precious riches.” This is talking about practical wisdom. One of the benefits of reading and studying the Bible is not only that you will be more spiritual, but also that you will learn to be more practical. God made the physical things in the world, and we all need the practical wisdom necessary to use these things rightly. It would not do much good to be spiritually-minded if we do not also learn to be of practical use. Bills must be paid, fences must be repaired, and windows must be washed in order to keep everything in its proper state. God gives you a little part of the world, and He wants you to take care of it properly for His glory. If you have practical wisdom from God, you will make it the best that you can with the resources and time that He gives you.  


The Bible says in Proverbs 24:5-6, “A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.[6] For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellers there is safety.” There are different types of strength and power. There is physical strength, but that can be easily overcome because there are equalizers as David against Goliath proved. There is power and authority based upon your position in a hierarchy. But whether they know it or not, every manager and every official is controlled by God because Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. There is also power and strength that is possessed by those who have knowledge. Knowledge is power. Even if you are not high up in a chain of command, you can have great power over people if you become an expert at something. People will rely upon you. People will be swayed by you. Therefore, get knowledge: as much knowledge as you can on any subject. Knowledge will open up doors of opportunity. Knowledge will make you usable by God in situations that you otherwise would not be qualified for. God uses a prepared person for a prepared place. God was able to use Moses to write the first five books of the Bible because Moses had been educated in the house of Pharaoh. God was able to use the Apostle Paul to write about half of the New Testament because Paul had been educated at the feet of Gamaliel in the learning center of Tarsus.


Proverbs 24:6 mentions “wise counsel” and a “multitude of counsellers.” No one knows as much as they need to know. Learn from others whenever you can. You need more knowledge on every subject. That is why Christ sends Pastors-teachers of the Word. Everyone needs to advance in their knowledge of God’s Word because there is a spiritual warfare going on, and you will not be equipped for that war without the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”


In Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is called “wonderful Counsellor.” Give your heart to Jesus, and He will always be available to you. Jesus will be your best source of wisdom. If you are really blessed, Jesus will give you a Bible teacher that Jesus will use to teach you so that you can increase in wisdom and knowledge in the things of God.                  




Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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