Hope for Your Son II

As a child, I heard my mom ask God to allow her to live to let her see her boys become grown men. When I inquired why that, my mom told me that her desire was to raise mature and responsible men. After settling into my career as a teacher, my mom told me that I was one of her heart’s delight. I had achieved what she wanted for me – a responsible self-supporting man. Moreover, she has further expressed her joy that her HOPE for me has been extended as she observe those same attributes as a father.

As a father, I know have my own kids whom I have HOPE for in their lives. In considering my son, my wife and mom have asked me what is the Hope for Your Son II. Like my mom, I want a responsible son. The best means to help my son become responsible is for him to respond to the principles in the Word of God. Solomon set forth some principles to help us guide our sons.

Proverbs 23:15-18

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

In Proverbs 23:15-18, Solomon express what provided joy for him as a parent in verses 15 and 16. Wisdom has been defined as knowing what is right and doing what is right. Solomon is asking his son, as God is asking us, the same as I ask my son – to be a good L.A.D.  L.A.D. is an acronym that means Listen And Do. I want my son to listen to the things I tell him and show him from the Word of God and to do those things. Solomon, in his great wisdom, told his son something that I have not stressed as much yet – speak what is right.

The notion of listening, doing and speaking leads me to another thought regarding the responsibility of my son. In fact, Solomon’s Hope for Your Son II is the precursor to this familiar image to the left – Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil. Solomon’s heart would be glad and his inmost being would rejoice if his son would know what is right, do what is right and speak what is right. This brings us to question of what is right and how do we get our son to right. Solomon had laid the foundation of that several verses before 15. In 12 -14, he says, “12 Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. 13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. 14 Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death. Here we have more of our parenting manual or instructional playbook. God tells us once more to discipline our children in addition to teaching them the Word of God. 

The end result is Hope for Your Son II. In verse 17, Solomon’s advice is for us to tell our kids not to envy sinners. Don’t look at those who are doing wrong with esteem and a desire to be like them rather look to God honoring and revering/respecting him. The desire to be like someone should be placed on God not broken man who will lead you to ruin. Solomon explicitly tells us the result of honoring and revering the Lord. “There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.” Surely conveys the certainty of a future hope with God as opposed to chance with man. Beyond that a guarantee is provided – “your hope will not be cut off.” It has been suggested that the word “future” may be a reference to a hope for life and vindication after death. More likely, however, it refers to a long and full life. Personally, I believe it is both. Romans 8 tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God – not hardships in this life, nor death after this life. If that is not hope, I don’t know what is.

Having your son always be zealous for the fear of the Lord is Hope for Your Son II.



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