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Summary: A great tragedy of our day is that there is so much noise that people can't hear the things they desperately need to hear. God is trying to get through to them with the voice of wisdom, but they are confused by the clutter of communication; the foolish vo

PROVERBS 1: 8-19

CHOOSING COMPANIONS

[2 Corinthians 6: 14-18]

How do we learn wisdom or the capacity to exhibit God's character in the many practical affairs of life? We learn wisdom by listening to godly instruction and counsel which is so difficult to hear today. The world's volume has been turned up so loud that it has drowned out wisdom and in our listening to the noise of the world our hearing has been deafened to the voice of God. Radios, televisions, amplified rock music (140 decibels), telephones, pesky salesmen, movies, i-pods, VCRs and DVDs. Airplane engines (140) or power mowers (100) sound off and sinister stereo speakers blasting out so loud that the car shakes. People and sounds invade our privacy and get on our nerves and help destroy our delicate hearing apparatus.

The great tragedy of our day is that there is so much noise that people can't hear the things they desperately need to hear. God is trying to get through to them with the voice of wisdom, but they are confused by the clutter of communication; the foolish voices that lead them farther away from the truth. Even without our modern electronic noise makers, a similar situation existed in ancient Israel, when Solomon wrote Proverbs. God was speaking but people weren't listening. God is still speaking, and we by and large aren't listening still. [Warren Wiersbe. Be Skillful.Victor Books. 1995. p 23-24]

I. 1:8-9; Family Schooling.

II. 1:10-14; Worldly Companions.

III. 1:15-19; Wisdom's Counsel.

The sage's first lesson begins in verse 8 and reflects the family as the primary teaching entity. "Hear my son, your fathers instruction, and do not forsake your mothers teaching.

Here is the first of the numerous appeals the teacher makes in Proverbs as a father speaking to his son. For good or bad, fathers significantly impact their children's lives. Solomon as a wise father, tells his son to listen to his mother's teaching. The ideal influence comes from balanced parental training where both parents bring their skills, talents, gifts and spiritual insight to bear on the life of a child. In the early years (infancy to 6) where 90% of personality is formed and in childhood when character is developed, both parents are needed. In the tumultuous years of youth and adolescence only two parenting parents can give the guidance necessary to overcome all the negative influences in the world.

Single parents struggle to bring about the right training in their children's impressionable and rebellious years. Many do a commendable job in difficult circumstances, but they admit they cannot be both mom and dad. A similar problem occurs when absentee fathers put in occasional visits. Young lives in such circumstances will be deficient in their upbringing and steps should be taken wherever possible to ensure that correct parental influence is available when needed most.

Correct parental influence incorporates "instruction" and "teaching." You may pay the teacher to educate, the psychologist to counsel, the coach to discipline and the pastor to instill values, but the majority of the responsibility still remains with the parents. Those parents who give up the control of formative influence to other are asking for trouble, and usually find it years later. Thus a godly father and mother are involved in urging their children to listen and obey the voice of wisdom

To teach means to bring about learning. Instruction carries the idea of discipline for there is no instruction without discipline. It is through a parent's involvement and correction that a child's character built.

In the jungles of eastern Sri Lanka, 15 soldiers of a government COMMANDO UNIT were SAVED BY TWO DOGS adopted as mascots. According to a news report, the soldiers were completing a 10 mile hike when their dogs sensed danger. Running ahead toward a water hole where the unit planned to rest, the dogs suddenly began barking and circling the area. The troops searched carefully and found 12 buried grenades attached to a taut wire trigger.

It's intriguing to think about those two jungle mascots whose senses were tuned to the smell of danger. The soldiers escaped serious injury and even death because they listened to those barking dogs.

It's disturbing to realize, however, that sometimes we are apt to give lesser credibility and attention to more faithful protectors. How many times have we resented a father's warnings or a mother's advice? How often have we grown tired of a pastor's pleadings or a fellow believers cautions?

Yet, how wise and loving is our God! He sends His messengers to whisper, to plead, and sometimes to howl about hidden dangers, which can do grave harm to our physical and spiritual lives. Let's be wise and listen to the warnings. Remember, if you want to be wise, listen to wise people.

Verse 9 depicts the wisdom a child learns from his parents as adding beauty to his life. Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck.

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