The Fear of the Lord

Proverbs 23:11–21 (NKJV)
11 For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.

12 Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.

19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

This passage picks up where the last passage left off, telling the reader that the Redeemer of the fatherless will plead their cause.  He cares for the weak, unfortunate, and deprived.  He instructs the reader to apply his or her heart to instruction and knowledge.  Parents are instructed not to fear discipline for their children.  Discipline actually delivers the child from hell, helping to save their soul. The writer, Solomon, then rejoices over the wisdom of his readers.  He further instructs the reader not to envy sinners, for they will be cut off, but the righteous will not.  He finally  warns the reader not to mix with winebibbers and gluttons, for they will lead him to poverty or lead her to drowsiness.  In the end, it is always wise to stand up for the weak and pursue knowledge.  The will of God is to be like Him!

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