Character Studies in Proverbs : Lesson #9 The instruction of a Father.

Character Studies in Proverbs : Lesson #9 The Instruction of a Father

(Proverbs 4:1-21) 

In this passage of Proverbs we see a son talking about the instruction that his father gave him. Now when we apply this to us spiritually we have God the father giving us instruction as his dear children.

To show how important this really is note that 3 times in just 21 verses we see 3 key phrases. “Hear ye children” (verse 1) ; “Hear, O my son, and receive” (verse 10) ; “My son, attend to my words” (verse 20)

If a person is saved then God is there spiritual father. (John 1:12-13 ; Galatians 4:6-7 ;

1 John 3:1) Therefore we should take close heed to the instruction that he gives even more so than the instruction of this world. But it is amazing that even among saved people today that they will take instruction from physiologist, self help books, friends, and strangers before taking heed to what God has told us in his word. I know that sometimes you can get good advice from these sources but when we choose them or go to them before going to God’s word we are messing up.

In this lesson we will look at 4 ways from the passage that God gives us instruction.

4 Ways That God Gives Us Instruction :  

1)  He gives instruction (verse 2)

God has given us all the instruction that we need for everything in life the problem is that we will just not receive it. Note that in verse 10 he says, “Hear O, my son, and receive my sayings;”. Receiving God’s instruction is the key. It does us absolutely no good to have instruction and not follow them.

I have heard people say I don’t like instructions or I need to read the instructions. Before we say such things or have this attitude we should read Proverbs 1:7.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The reason most of the time we do want to follow the instructions that God gives us is because we don’t like them or think that they are bad for us. We must remember that God knows how to give his children good things. (Luke 11:11-13)

2)  He teaches instruction (verse 4)

In verse 4 the Bible says “Let thine heart retain my words:”. The key there is to retain. We can hear the instruction but we must retain it also. One of best ways of teaching and learning is by repetition. Note how many times that God refers to his words in this passage (verses 2,4,5,10,20, and 21).

The words of God are the key to getting knowledge, wisdom, and understanding and this passage tells us that wisdom is the principle thing and we need to get understanding (verse7). Sooner or later if a person is going to develop any real character they are going to have to submit themselves unto the teaching of the word of God.

3)  He leads in instruction (verse 11)

The best way to instruct someone is by example and God is the best in the world at this because you never have to worry about him giving you a bad example. Note what the word of God says in Ephesians 5:1 and 1 Peter 1:15-16.

A wise preacher once said “you can follow any man as long as he is following God”. This is where we have to be very careful because many will follow a man and never check to see if he is following God. This is why we have worldly churches with rock music masquerading as Christian music and preachers who never preach the word of God but give pep talks so no one is offended or leaves feeling conviction of any kind. The reason people follow them is because they never check God’s word to see if what they are doing is right.

4)  He warns about not following instruction (verses 13-17)

When we read these verses it seems as if the father is speaking from experience. We know that God has never committed sin but God still knows the outcome of a person following sin because he knows the future.

When our parents warn us it is usually because they are on the other end of where we are at and we cannot see the hidden dangers that are awaiting us but they can. So as children we should take heed to their instruction and warning because they have been down the road before can really help us if we will let them

Someone has said that experience is the best teacher, but in reality it is best to learn from the experience of others because then we do not have to suffer the consequences of the actions.


Character Studies in Proverbs : Lesson #9 The Instruction of a Father (Proverbs 4:1-21)


1)  What are the key verses in this chapter that show us a father and his instruction?


2)  Give two verses for showing that God is the father of a saved person.


3)  List 4 things that God does through instuction.


4)  What is a good reference for God knowing how to give his children good things?


5)  What is the key to God giving us instruction?


6)  What are the key things to be taught from God and where is it found?


7)  Why should we follow God’s leading?


8)  Why are warnings from a father so valuable to us?