Summary: Father's Day Sermon with advice from Solomon to his son from Proverbs 4. Mind your path. Guard your heart. Watch your mouth.
LEADER OF THE POSSE
Today is Father’s Day and we celebrate “Dad Life” and we honor the dads among us and those that have gone before us. We celebrate fathers are the leader of the posse. Most fathers are those men who take the lead, make decisions, manage tools, and provide. If families were a posse, they are the sheriff leading the band!
We celebrate those that have been our father’s, but also those men in our lives who took an interest in us and have made a difference in our lives whether they were an uncle, a family friend, or an older person that has loved us. On Father’s Day Weekend our minds are in many places; you can’t just pin down one place to settle. Those of us who are dads think about ourselves and how well or poor we are doing as a father. We think about our own dads and how they have influenced us in our own lives. Sometimes we even celebrate and focus on the role our Heavenly Father takes in our lives.
The book of Proverbs covers all of these areas and more. We have been looking at the Book of Proverbs and learning the wise ways of life with money, work, relationships, and so on. Today is no different. We will take a look today at Proverbs 4 which focuses on some instructions from a father to a son. This passage settles on one aspect of fatherhood which is a needed part of fatherhood… that is the role of teacher. Father’s are teachers whether they realize it or not. Fathers are perhaps the first teachers we ever have as leaders of our posse called the family. The lessons our father’s teach us stay with us our whole lives. King Solomon knows this and in Proverbs 4 passes on some lessons he has learned to his son.
READ Proverbs 4:1-4
“Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. 2 I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. 3 When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, 4 he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.”
Solomon tells his son four important things in these verses before he ever starts speaking wisdom into his life:
First, “pay attention.”
Second, “gain understanding.”
Third, what he is about to say is “sound learning.”
Fourth, “lay hold” of what I am about to tell you and “keep” the lessons on your “heart.”
Solomon says these things to get his son’s attention. Sometimes kids can tend to wander in their attention. We know that! Sometimes we wander in our attention as adults. So, Solomon’s beginning words are for us as well. “Pay attention” and “gain understanding” for the “sound learning” we are about to talk about is to “lay hold” of our “hearts.”
I want to make mention and remind you of one other thing before we set off into the three lessons Solomon imparts to his son in this passage of Proverbs 4. None of this wisdom Solomon got from his own father. Now I’m not saying that David was an unwise man and didn’t teach Solomon anything, but in terms of taking advice from David, I personally might shy away from that. If you want advice about loving and seeking God, being a military general, infiltrating enemy camps, truly repenting before God, forgiveness, loving your enemies, and making music, David is your man! If you want advice about marital relationships, speaking to your wife, raising up boys, keeping your children safe, honoring friendships and other relationship issues, we should pass David on by as someone who had no clue. I want to remind you that the wisdom Solomon expresses in the Book of Proverbs comes directly from our Heavenly Father… He is the source for Solomon.
1 Kings 3:11-12 says, “So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” Our lessons today come from the Heavenly Father to Solomon, an earthly father, directed to his son. So, in view of all that; “Pay attention” and “gain understanding” for the “sound learning” we are about to talk about is to “lay hold” of our “hearts.”
I. LESSON ONE: MIND YOUR PATH (verse 14)
One of the first lessons Solomon imparts to his son in chapter 4 after his initial instructions can be summarized with the words: mind your path. Proverbs 4:14 says, “Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men” (NIV 1984). The Message version says, “Don’t take Wicked Bypass; don’t so much as set foot on that road. Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth. Make a detour and be on your way.”