Listen to Your Father!

736b7-listening-earAs the father of a child who is currently going through the “terrible twos,” I can tell you that there are times when he will not listen to the important messages, and I have to make him listen.

Don’t run through the parking lot!

Yet he takes off anyway.

Trying to make him wise up about the dangers, I talk to him again, and his attention wanders. I crouch down to his level, put my nose to his nose, and tell him how dangerous it is to run ahead of daddy. The attention wanders again.

Look right here. Look at my eyes, and listen. This is important.

Finally, he listens while I tell him how much I love him, and how dangerous the parking lot is with cars and their crazy drivers. He needs to think, and be wise, and do what his daddy tells him to do.

Friends, God’s Word reminds me that we are a lot like two-year-olds when it comes to listening to our Father.

When preparing a recent message on part of Proverbs 4, I read chapters 1-3 as well. I noticed that the writer, passing godly wisdom on to his son, says something along the lines of, Son, listen to me, around 10 times in the first four chapters.

  • “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Proverbs 1:8).
  • “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Proverbs 1:10).
  • “My son, walk not thou in the way with them […]” (Proverbs 1:15).
  • “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee” (Proverbs 2:1).
  • “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments” (Proverbs 3:1).
  • “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction” (Proverbs 3:11).
  • “My son, let not them [wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (vv.19-20)] depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion” (Proverbs 3:21).
  • “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding” (Proverbs 4:1).
  • “Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many” (Proverbs 4:10).
  • “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings” (Proverbs 4:20).

There is obviously so much more to learn from the first four chapters of Proverbs than what I have presented here. But even as God’s wisdom is being poured out to us through the author of Proverbs, the reminder is there, Listen to me!

We think we know everything we need to know, and tune it out. We get distracted. We flat out decide we don’t want to do what we’re supposed to. All the while, God reminds us as a Father, Listen to me.

As believers, we should strive to be alert to God’s instruction and correction—and pray that we can resist the urge to wander off like a two-year-old in a parking lot.