The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.

—Proverbs 10:1 

Proverbs are generalities, not laws or promises.  They are very generally true, but we must not assume that if we do “A”, “B” will always be the result.  And beware that some Proverbs are observations of what is true, even of what God does not approve of.

Proverbs are mostly written in couplets of two phrases that are generally connected by either the word “and” or “but.”  If connected by “and,” the two phrases are stating a similarity of the two.  If connected by “but,” the two phrases are stating a difference between the two.  The similarities or differences shed light in understanding the lesson to be learned.

Proverbs are Messianic, or about Jesus.  The theme of a father giving wise counsel to his son runs throughout the Proverbs.  The word “son” appears 45 times in 41 verses.  Of those, we read either of the wise son who pleases his father, or the foolish son who shames his father.  The Proverbs are Messianic, in that while we sinners are so often foolish, and displease our Heavenly Father, Jesus is the one and only perfectly wise Son who only always pleases Him.  See this in the New Testament where at Jesus’ baptism and at the Transfiguration, 6 times the Father speaks audibly saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  It is significant that as the only wise Son of the Father, Jesus not only lived sinlessly, keeping the Law for we who have lived lawlessly, but He also lived wisely, following every bit of wise counsel contained in the Proverbs for we who have lived foolishly. 

So in addition to reading the Proverbs to learn wisdom for your life, remember that we fall short of God’s standard of wisdom found in the Proverbs.  Our foolishness displeases our Heavenly Father.  And be reminded that Jesus fulfilled all wisdom for those He came to save, so that the Father sees all those who are “in Christ” as wise sons in whom He is well pleased.