Parents Instruct. Kids learn. Sin kills. Proverbs 1:8-19


Why are we in the book of Proverbs at all? Because so much of life is a series of nuanced judgment calls. – Ray Ortlund

We are living in a most difficult time in our nation’s history.

As laser focused as we are on the mission of Jesus, Covid and national turmoil legitimately threaten our Romans 14 unity. There are innumerable counter narratives that compete with the gospel, and they are a threat to the mission and our personal and corporate discipleship. 

In all of our inconsistencies (there are so many voices and narratives that blend like a venn diagram that it’s inevitable we are going to cross narratives that don’t belong with the kingdom into the kingdom’s space), being off course, rage, hurt, confusion, and disappointment there is the hope of the gospel of the kingdom to set our course straight and even iron out our conscience options within the narrow way of the kingdom. 

Jesus managed to make a disciple out of Simon the Zealot. 

We must continue our discipleship in the kingdom of God. 

Discipleship is not just knowing correct doctrine. Discipleship is also learning to obey everything we are taught from God’s word. 

The applications are innumerable, and not able to be done in one sermon after a difficult week. 

I have never felt more overwhelmed than I do right now. It’s all not possible, and even if it were possible, it would be just invite more personal slander. It’s been an awful week. 

Part of our obedience is every Christian learning from sound teaching in covenant fellowship how to navigate information on our own, limit and/or flush the competing narratives that fill the air and be refined and go forward with Jesus and Jesus’ people. 

We must learn from God’s word the fear of the Lord so that we can view our world from the same worldview in unity on mission even if we have nuance in our conclusions. 

Kingdom/Disciple/Society/Church has to happen at home at the micro level of any local church, so today, that’s where our text presupposes we are beginning. 

Big Idea: Parents, instruct in the fear of God. Kids, learn the fear of God. Why? All sin kills.

  1. Parents, make sure you have the knowledge of God, applied instruction, and then teach it. V. 8
    1. Parents, your primary parenting task is to know God, fear God, love his word and make a life of practicing it’s application to everything. 
      1. You need God’s word, diverse fellowship (TRC is not homogenous in our view of many things and we should be learning from each other), know how to ask nuanced questions, and practice commitment to love and unity on mission, and be committed to find answers. 
        1. Part of our job as elders is to teach God’s word and be considerate of everyone’s legitimate experience and perspective as well as deal with sin.
        2. This diversity is good for us…minus the sin. 
        3. This diversity trains us to love, understand, and grow. And your kids need that. 
        4. One think I’ll fight for is us being a place that allows all nations a seat at the table to be comfortable with their orthodox exposition and real world experiences.
    2. Practice the integration of the kingdom of God to every aspect of life as the first consideration in everything. 
      1. There are times to lay in the floor in tears, fasting, wrestling over how to obey God’s word on mission together. 
        1. I’m calling you to pray and fast for his kingdom to come and his will to be done. 
  1. Children, listen to your parents and do not fail to practice their instruction. V. 8
    1. Hear – imperative
      1. Children, you need to listen with your eyes, ears and body. 
    2. Forsake – allow to lay fallow, uncultivated, thrown down, unused
      1. What you hear you are to then practice. 
  1. Why verse 8? Instruction heard and practiced is a blessing of grace. V. 9
    1. Graceful garland – a wreath, better understood as a crown.
    2. Pendant – necklace, better understood as something like a “gold medal” won.
    3. What do these mean?
      1. Wise instruction received makes us beautiful, attractive and successful in God’s eyes.
        1. Instruction received and obeyed is eternal success, where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal. 
    4. Romans 13:14 (ESV) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
  1. Beware the sinner’s enticing invitation. This is the evangelism of the dark kingdom. V. 10
    1. Make no mistake, the offer to come to Jesus is not the only invitation to ultimate allegiance. The dark kingdom is always selling it’s wares whose wages are death. 
      1. Sinner – the fool who has rejected the fear of Yhwh.
      2. Entice – simple, gullible, able to be persuaded and therefore, to be provoked through deception.
  1. Solomon illustrates a potentially successful enticement: The violent pursuit of gain. V. 11-14

NOTE: This is illustrative of a sinful temptation in Solomon’s day. This is where discipleships’ proverbial rubber meets the road. 

  1. The “they” are the sinners of verse 10, and the grammatical structure suggests these are habitual and chronic sinners. 
    1. It’s the pattern of their life. 
  2. Notice the parents are giving their child this scenario: “If they say…”
    1. They are instructing using a real life situation as illustration. 
    2. Solomon’s illustration is violent pursuit of gain v. 11-14
      1. The situations we can illustrate with are as varied as life. 
      2. There are many legal, polite, arguable, even religious ways of saying, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood.” 
        1. Using Scripture in such a way that the prophets are rendered ineffective or “Old Testament”.
        2. Using the Proverbs about “stirring up strife” as an excuse to not speak to sin when the “stirring up of strife” in the Proverbs is about stepping into sin (because sin creates chaos/strife…see Genesis 3).  
          1. Misuse of God’s word is violence against God. 
        3. What about gossip that divides and kills with words disguised as “concern”? 
  1. Resist! V. 15
  1. 3 final reasons to reject the enticement of sin. V. 16-19
    1. Habitual sinners and habitual sin run quickly away from wisdom to evil. V. 16
    2. Sin is dumb. V. 17-18
    3. Sin takes life from the foolish. V. 19 


  1. Put down your phone, and turn off the news. Let your soul calm down. 
  2. Download massive chunks of bible. 
  3. Talk about it with your family.
  4. Talk about how God sees it all from his point of view with a person in covenant fellowship who might disagree with you, and actively love one nother with personal acceptance, understanding, joy, peace, unity, and common mission. 
  5. Actively resist external narratives that compete against the kingdom of God.

Corporate Prayer

Ezekiel 36:37-38

  1. Increase our people.
  2. Increase our holiness.
  3. Increase our sending. 

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