Bridges on Proverbs 4:1-2
 
Charles Bridges on Proverbs 4:1-2
 
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1.  ¶ Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2.  For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
 
SURELY these frequent repetitions are as the angel’s visit to the prophet — “waking him, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.” (Zechariah 4:1.) A mind like Solomon’s, “large even as the sand that is on the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29), might readily have made every sentence a fresh discovery of his knowledge. But more suitable to our sluggish and forgetful heart is “the word of the LORD, precept upon precept.” (Isaiah 28:13.) Children are often bereft or destitute of a parental instructor. Here these orphans are taken up, and called to hear the instruction of a father. For truly does the wise man, like the apostle in after days, “exhort and charge, as a father doth his children.” (1 Thessalonians 2:11.)
Solomon evidently speaks from the mouth of God, declaring his doctrine — his law. Therefore he claims attention to know understanding, for I give you good doctrine. (Ecclesiastes 12:9-11.) To many, exciting (Ezekiel 33:31, 32), curious and speculative (2 Timothy 4:3, 4), compromising (Isaiah 30:10. Jeremiah 5:31), self-righteous, self-exalting doctrine (Galatians 1:6, 7), is more attractive. But — young people! — remember — that which humbles the soul before God; that which exhibits the free grace of the Gospel; which melts down the will, consecrates the heart, imbues with the spirit of the cross — however unpalatable to the flesh — is alone good doctrine for the soul. Therefore forsake it not. Do not be carried away with the senseless cry, — ‘Everybody thinks contrary.’ What is the judgment of the mass of mankind worth on the great subject of religion? “This their way is their folly.” This is God’s stamp upon man’s “saying,” however applauded and “approved” by successive generations. (Psalm 49:13.) Shall this world’s judgment be preferred to the word of God? “The morning” of the resurrection will reflect the glory of eternity upon the choice of the narrow path. (Ib. v.14.)