Proverbs 24:3-4 – By wisdom a house is built... - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Biblical Wisdom
June 5, 2019

Proverbs 24:3-4 – By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

by Dr. Bill Edgar, former chair of the Geneva College Board of Trustees, former Geneva College President and longtime pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPNCA)

What builds a “house” and fills its rooms with riches? Wisdom! Where do father and mother learn wisdom so they can build their house, that is, their family? They learn it most easily when their own parents apprentice them to it, the way plumbers are trained, but also when they possess the inherited wisdom of generations summed up in pithy proverbs. Such proverbs make wisdom available to literate and illiterate alike.

Some old American sayings made for contented homes. “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” “When angry, count to ten before speaking.” “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” Other cultures have their own nuggets of wisdom, like “Don’t curse a crocodile until you have crossed the river.” Literate societies tend to abandon their inherited proverbs, but these old maxims provide better guidance for family life than hundreds of books about marriage and childrearing.

The main point of this proverb, therefore, is that to build a house, learn the wisdom in Proverbs! Here are some that come to mind as I write, quotation marks omitted. Drink water from your own cistern, and let your fountain be blessed to rejoice in the wife of your youth. He who spares the rod hates his own son. A merry heart does good, like medicine. A wise son listens to his father’s instructions and does not forsake his mother’s words. Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will stay on the path. Lands and inheritance are from ancestors, but a good wife is from the LORD. Wine is a mocker. A valiant wife -- better than rubies! Discipline your son while you still have time. A son who sleeps in harvest time shames his mother. Better a vegetarian meal with love than grilled lamb with hatred. Do not despise your mother when she gets old. The fear of the LORD is where wisdom begins.

Live long enough to see your children love their children, and you will thank the Lord for filling your rooms with precious and pleasant memories. Grandchildren tearing around your house with laughter, whom you can confidently send home at day’s end to parents who will raise them with wisdom, are some of the most precious and pleasant riches there are.

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