While the Scriptures decry sadism, brutality or bullying, they do teach corporal discipline for children. The second half of today’s reading covers the parent-child relationship from the child’s perspective with some good wisdom for children of whatever age.
The issues of gluttony (v20-21), drunkardness (v20-21, 30-35) and sexual immorality (v26-28) are all addressed in this passage, along with the fifth commandment (honoring parents, v22, 24), the responsibilities of parenting (v13-14), and accepting the responsibility for our own actions (v29).
In amidst all of these, v23 is a wonderful sparkling gem.
“Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.”
Truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding – They all make up characteristics of God’s people living in God’s place under God’s rule.
Jesus speaks of the kingdom and purchase/buying – In Matthew 13 He says:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
And then, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
How do we combat eating or drinking to excess? How do we combat the desires of the flesh, of the eye, the pride of life?
We get wisdom! Get understanding! Get truth!
Solomon knows this. He of most men knew this – Having experienced these things. And so we don’t need to experience these things, because through Solomon’s words here God tells us instead to pursue holiness! To seek out God’s kingdom rather than the folly of the world.
Praise God for His word, that is truth and instruction, wisdom and understanding.
Father God, please set our hearts on things above, and not on earthly things. May we be a people of Your truth, seeking Your wisdom. Please help us Lord with the desires of our mortal flesh, longings that can clamor so loud. Please be the strong and clear voice in our heads, in our hearts – May we see Jesus and walk as He walked, listen to His words, do what He tells us to do.