Considering Proverbs 1:8-9 (Revised)

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

Several things come to mind when I read this verse. First, what does this verse literally mean?

I want to look at the beginning verse. Who and what is the instruction of the father and law of the mother? If this was written by Solomon to his son, Rehoboam, then the meaning might be straight-forward.

In the previous verse, we read that fools disregard instruction. We also read that fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. If we tie that in with this verse, then what Solomon is saying makes sense. He is encouraging his son to pay attention to the instruction he is about to receive.

If we take what Solomon is writing in a non-literal sense, then maybe he is talking about the nation of Israel as the father. God’s covenant was made with Abraham. His decedent Jacob was named Israel, and Israel’s sons formed the original tribes of Israel. So, maybe these are the nation’s fathers in a sense. As God’s people, they received laws that they should follow as a set-apart nation. Could these laws be the mother? Could Solomon be encouraging his son to lay hold of his heritage as the chosen people of God?

I also think about what Jesus teaches. He said once that those who do the will of His Father in heaven are His mother, brother, and sister. Of course, Jesus did not mention father because God is the Father of Jesus. However, this makes me think of someone I know.

Jesus teaches us that if we forsake our mother, father, brothers, and sisters for His sake, then we will receive more again in the kingdom of God. This is true.

I know someone who cannot look to her natural father and mother for instruction and guidance because they are prone to ungodly ways. For most of her life, she felt orphaned in a sense because of this. She had no one she could really count on or look up to. Other than the Lord Himself, she had no father or mother in the faith. God provided her with mentors in the faith, and they have been exceedingly helpful and comforting to her. The Lord provides us with people who will lead us and help us grow in His ways, and that is a blessed thing.

This verse also makes me think of our current situation here in the United States. We should remember the instruction of our founding fathers and the blood they shed to make us a free nation. We should remember the laws of Lady Liberty that instruct us in self-government and living an upright life.

Our nation is at great risk of forgetting these things, it seems. Here in the United States, every individual is a king. We are the leaders and the government is supposed to work for us—not control us and rule us. It seems like we want to do like Israel did when they went astray.

God was their king. In following God, each man was responsible for himself. They rejected God and made Saul king. In so doing, the nation of Israel was eventually divided and conquered by the Assyrians and Babylonians.  

Saul was the first king of Israel. David was the second. David’s son, Solomon was the third. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam was next. The people rebelled against the unjust rule of Rehoboam, and this lead to the splitting of the nation and the formation of the northern and southern kingdoms. In just a few short generations, having a king in place of God resulted in catastrophe.

It would seem that Solomon’s son did not follow the advice of his father after-all.

Are we going to establish a king that resembles other nations? Are we giving up the liberty and responsibility of the individual that governs themselves in order to obtain slavery and oppression wrapped in the guise of protection and security?

The individuals in our nation need to return to a fear of the Lord. Then they can return to an appreciation for the liberty and responsibility of self-government. If we reject the instruction of our father and the law of our mother, our nation will perish.

If our nation does perish, then we have hope in another kingdom. We have hope in an eternal kingdom in which God is the Father and the laws of the Lord from Jerusalem, who is “the mother of us all” will provide us with guidance as stated in the prophets.

That is something to hold on to. No matter how terrible things might get, bind this promise to you and let it guide you. Remember the grace of God. His favor towards us will keep us and raise us up. His favor towards us will give us strength, peace, and freedom from death.

As Solomon—and the One who is greater that Solomon—instructs, we should not forsake our fore-fathers and the laws of righteousness they swore to protect. We should also remember that ultimately, we serve an eternal kingdom. We should bind Father God to us and wear the Lord’s grace as a crown of victory! We should embrace the laws of the kingdom of God and allow them to strengthen and guide us.

We do not cower in fear. We do not lose hope. We do not give into the powers of darkness no matter how bleak it all seems.  

We will overcome because the Lord Jesus our God has promised it. Trust in Him. Sing praises to the Lord and He will lift us up!

  • Note : I apologize for the sloppy mistakes. I realized these mistakes and have fixed them. I will try to do better about relying too much on my memory when writing about history or scriptures in general, especially first thing in the morning. I pray the Lord will give me a sharper mind. I deleted the original article, but I will leave this note as a reminder of my mistakes and be thankful for a lesson learned.

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