22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
25 May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
When a father’s advice doesn’t make sense, it is tempting to assume that you know better than he does. But it could also be that you don’t see what he sees, and once you do his advice will be proven right. This may not always be the case with earthly fathers, but it is with our heavenly father, whose perspective so far exceeds our own that he shall never be proven wrong. Concerning our earthly parents, here we are told to listen to and not despise – which is a great deal easier than obeying and loving. This aligns with the commandment to “honor your father and mother,” which may still be more difficult than loving your neighbor.
“Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well.” Truth is the most precious possession we can have, along with wisdom, instruction and insight. Truth does not clutter like material things, neither does it age, it maintains its utility and relevance throughout the years. It costs very little to store, it cannot be stolen, and it is immune to corrosion and decay.
“The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!” There is far more at stake in righteousness and wisdom than your own wellbeing. These are the keys to great joy or sorrow in every relationship. Parents are emphasised here, as their own happiness is particularly bound to the happiness of their children. But every relationship is subjected to the joy of wisdom or the sorrow of folly – let us choose wisdom and the joy it bestows!