1. ∂ The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
THE former chapters have beautifully set forth in continuous discourse the nature and value of heavenly wisdom, contrasted with the fascinations of sinful folly. We now come to what are more properly (not excluding the foregoing) (Chapter 1:2) the Proverbs of Solomon. They are for the most part unconnected sentences, remarkable for profound thought, and acute observation, expressed in an antithetical or illustrative form; the whole comprising a Divine system of morals of universal application; a treasury of wisdom in all its diversified details, personal, domestic, social, civil. The previous chapters form a striking introduction to the book. The glorious description of the Great Counsellor (Chapter 1. 8.) commends to us his gracious instruction as the principles of true happiness and practical godliness.
Perhaps this first sentence may have been placed in the front, to point to the value of a godly education in its personal, social, national influence, connected both with time and eternity. We naturally look for rest in our children, as the choicest gift of God. (Genesis 5:28, 29; 33:5. Psalm 127:3.) Faith, indeed, may be tried, perhaps severely tried. (Ecclesiastes 11:1) But the child, watched, prayed over, instructed, and disciplined, shall, in the Lordís best time, choose wisdomís paths (Chapter 22:6), and be the gladness of his fatherís heart. (Chapter 15:20; 23:15, 16, 24, 25; 27:11; 29:3. Genesis 45:28; 46:30.)
Many a mother, alas! is chastened with the heaviness of a foolish son. (Genesis 26:34, 35; 27:46.) In such cases, has not indulgence, instead of wholesome restraint; pleasure, instead of godliness; the world, instead of the Bible ó educated the child? Want of early discipline; passing over trifles; yielding when we ought to command ó how little do we think to what they may grow! (1 Samuel 2:24; 3:13. 1 Kings 1:5, 6; 2:25.) God has laid down plain rules, plain duties, and plain consequences flowing from their observance (Chapter 22:6; 23:13, 14) or neglect. (Chapter 29:15.) To forget a daily reference to them; to choose our own wisdom before Godís (1 Samuel 2:29); ó can we wonder that the result should be heaviness?Ü