Proverbs 10 contains a number of two liner proverbs that compare and contrast a number of things. The biggest contrast is between good and evil, or righteousness and wickedness. Solomon makes the contrast clear that there is a vast difference between two things and our choices matter much. It is fitting that he begins with an appeal to the father and mother: “A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother”. It is a call to listen and obey parents, and the plain truth that choosing any other way will lead to sorrow.
Solomon addresses the topic of hard work head on. “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame”. A wise son will use the seasons and grow a crop that will yield a harvest. The wicked son will be lazy and not focus on doing the things that cause success, and thus create poverty and a shortage of what is needed. A wise son has full barns and is the envy of all.
Solomon goes on to explain the difference between the wise and foolish – it is in their choices regarding God’s commandments and truth. “The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin. Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out”. Life is about choices. God has made His truth available to all of us – it’s written in His word – it is preached from the pulpits of many churches – it can be found all over the Internet with a little effort. There is no shortage of ways to take in God’s commandments. The question is – will you receive it and walk in integrity with that truth as your guide?
What we do with God’s truth determines much about our future. “Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray”. We have a choice to make. We can choose to go our own way and do our own things relying on self and what we feel or believe to be true. That will lead to death. Or we can choose to heed God’s instruction, often delivered through others beginning with our parents, that can lead us down the path to life. Rejecting the truth will not end well. Who will you choose to listen to? The truth of God that leads to life, or the lies we tell ourselves that are foolishness and lead to death. It’s clear which is the right course!