One of the big themes of Proverbs is passing wisdom on to the next generation. 23 times the writer directly addresses his son. Parents are exhorted to instruct and guide their children. The wise child is the one takes to heart the wise guidance of their parents and puts it into practice. The whole book exudes a passion to see the next generation avoid the errors of the previous one and make wise, prudent and godly decisions. It reflects a universal yearning of the human race – that the next generation be better than us, will make the world a better place. Often it translates into wanting our kids to be better off than we are. Again, this seems to be a universal longing, no matter how much we have. I remember sitting with an old man in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, and him telling me that his life’s ambition was for each of his 3 sons to be the proud owners of a ($3) bush knife before he died. Unfortunately when the focus is on material advancement, it often has the reverse effect on them getting godly wisdom. Kids have an uncanny knack of copying our priorities.
For us who live this side of the cross, the greatest wisdom we have been given is the word of God in the gospel. Paul urges Timothy to pass on what he has learned from his mother and grandmother (and Paul himself) to faithful people who will be able to pass it on to others (2 Timothy 2:2). What a great privilege and weighty responsibility we have to pass this wonderful news on in our families, communities, church, wherever God places us. It’s the wisest thing we can do!