Gain Understanding

Proverbs 4:1-4 

1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. 2I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. 3For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. 4Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live.


Do you like driving on the highways? Speed limit on the highways is higher. When you wish to reach your destination faster, should you drive over maximum speed limit? Driving over maximum speed limit cannot guarantee reaching a destination faster.

One day, I was driving on the perimeter highway; at one point, the traffic slowed down. Then I saw a police car behind a pickup truck; they were parked on the roadside or shoulder of the highway. Hmn! It is possible, I guess that, the pickup truck had serious problem and needed assistance; or maybe, it was caught for over speeding violation.

Did the driver drive faster than the maximum speed limit because he wanted to reach his destination faster? He was mistaken badly. He’s caught violating the maximum speed limit; he got a violation ticket. If that’s the case, it’s not smart decision; it’s foolish to drive over speed limit. Smart motorists know that it is favorable to drive according to speed limits; even if they are almost late in their appointments, they drive safely.

There will always be foolish violators of rules and regulations anywhere. Why? It is foolish behavior to disregard rules and regulations. It is wise for believers to seriously pray for godly wisdom and understanding and behave in godly manner.

The Book of Proverbs was credited to King Solomon as the author, and he was the wisest king of Israel. He asked God for wisdom, and the Lord granted his prayer.

By faith, we believe when the Lord assured King Solomon in 2 Chronicles 1:12: 12Wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.

The Lord declared that, “No king before and after King Solomon had and will ever have similar wisdom, wealth, possession and honor.” Let us learn from King Solomon. Let us seriously ask God for wisdom and understanding. Listen carefully! If he deems it necessary, the Lord will also provide things essential for us to behave righteously.

1.  Listen

1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. 2I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.

Reflect. Pause for a moment and search you innermost being. Listen and sense it.

When we read this passage, did you sense as if, God is speaking to you? Did you hear the voice of God our heavenly Father? Did you hear him telling you to listen to his instruction, pay attention and gain understanding? Did you sense God saying, “I give you sound learning?” Can you hear his warning not to forsake his teaching?

Be prayerful now! Can we practically sense when God our heavenly Father speak?

The Holy Spirit of God enables us individually, to hear him specifically and very personally. It’s God’s grace, when we listen to him more attentively, and we can sense some sort of gladness or bliss when we read the word of God from the Scripture!

King David declares in Psalm 94:11-14, 11The Lord knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile. 12Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law; 13you grant them relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked. 14For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.

When the Lord says, “human plans are futile,” we acknowledge it by his grace.

Additionally, it favors us when the Lord disciplines us and teaches us from his law. Each of us will certainly face troubles common to mankind; but by faith, we trust that the Lord gives us relief from days of trouble, and not just one time. Can you believe that?

Do you wish to grow old? Some individuals worry about getting old. Some people wish they can depend on their children at old age. In North America, older people are normally sent to care homes. Parents: If you rely upon your children at old age, pray seriously that your children will take care of you when you grow old and helpless?


We can learn from Naomi? Naomi was very old; her husband and sons died. She decided to return to Bethlehem, her homeland. So, she instructed her daughters-in-law, “Go home to your parents!” One daughter-in-law named Ruth was determined to stay with Naomi, and she said in Ruth 1:16-17, 16Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.

Awesome isn’t it? Do you personally know someone who sincerely cares for her mother-in-law? Most often, we hear stories of quarrels between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law. But, Ruth took care of Naomi in her old age, why? When Ruth declared, “Your God my God,” she may have observed godly kindness and goodness of Naomi.

The story says that Naomi brought her daughter-in-law Ruth to Bethlehem where Ruth married Boaz and gave birth to Obed, the grandfather of King David. It says in Ruth 4:14-15, 14The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Can you accept that the Lord moved the heart of Ruth to take care of Naomi? If not, what caused Ruth not to leave Naomi? Or, was it because of her faithfulness to God that Naomi did not worry of who takes care of her? Naomi lived happily in her old age.

2.  Live

3For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother.  

4Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live.

King Solomon testified that he experienced being taught by his own father David. Solomon consciously kept in his heart the words and commands of his father. His life exemplified practical blessings. When Solomon mentioned his mother (Bathsheba) cherished him, was it because he was the favorite son of his mother? No! When King Solomon put into practice what his father David taught him, it’s natural that mothers cherish respectful children. King Solomon respected his father David. A practical proof of his respect to David was when Solomon did not forget what his father taught him.

King Solomon imparted also to his very own son what he learned from his father. King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon who succeeded him as king of Israel. But King Rehoboam didn’t apply what his father Solomon had taught him. He ignored it.

See? King Solomon listened and kept in his heart the advice of his father David; it showed godly wisdom, and his life exemplified blessings in many practical ways.

In comparison, King Rehoboam disregarded the teaching of his father Solomon. The plan and decision of Rehoboam was futile; he ignored the advice of elders who serve during of his father. Instead, he listened to the suggestions of his contemporaries who grew up with him; his decision caused division in the kingdom of Israel.

These contrasting stories of respect and disrespect of parents are biblical records for believers to learn from. Parents should teach children and pray for them no matter how their children may respond; the Lord will reward the person who deserves it.

Jesus Christ had declared it in Matthew 12:36-37, 36I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

By faith, we trust that whatever the Lord declares will certainly come true, even if we do not know exactly how the Lord judges or acquits anybody. By his grace, we listen attentively and keep Christ’s teachings in our heart. We need godly wisdom, so that we can apply practically into our lifestyle what we learn from the word of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:1-3 says: 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise— 

3so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

King Solomon had godly wisdom; he understood that it favors him to obey and honor his parents. So, he obeyed what his father David taught him as practical respect to his father. Respect of parents attracts favorable blessings. Solomon had proven it. His mother Bathsheba cherished him because Solomon obeyed and respected his parents.

King Solomon exposed the secret of his favorable blessing: Wisdom caused him to respect and obey his father David, so that his mother Bathsheba cherished him.

You are favorably and practically blessed, if your mother cherishes you!

Favorable blessings that come with respect to parents have lifetime effect. You won’t worry about old age or who will take care of you when you are old and helpless.

We need godly wisdom and understanding to practically obey and respect our parents. Pray seriously for increase of faith and godly wisdom like King Solomon prayed.

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