Listen to Your Father

Proverbs 23:22–35 (NKJV)

22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.

26 My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.

29 Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 “They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”

Obey your parents.  Value truth and wisdom.  Make your parents proud.  Don't sleep with anyone to whom you are not married, not matter how seductive.  Stay away from alcohol, because it brings sorrow and woe, and bites like a snake.  Solomon shares wise words for life that covers family relationships, lifelong learning, sexual holiness, and sobriety.  Solomon makes it clear that children should follow their parents' advice and leadership in order to bring joy and pride to their lives.  He also warns men against seductive women, although men and women should be chaste in their sexual relationships, only being with a spouse in a monogamous relationship.  Finally, Solomon discusses the dangers, and even the downward spiral caused by alcohol.  It mocks, depresses, and creates an altered reality that leads one to ruin.  Stay away from alcoholic drink!  Solomon was described as having wisdom beyond all men and women of his day.  His wisdom still makes sense today.

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