Proverbs 23:11-15
Prov 23:11 (KJB)
For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
Mighty - Hard, strong, or severe
Since God has placed in the law protection for widows and orphans, He will also plead their case since they have no one to plead with them or for them. Those without families would be those without connections within those families. So God will be their advocate. (Psa 68:5-6 KJV) A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. {6} God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. God states that He will be the Father of the fatherless and judge of the widows. When a charge is made against any land owner of moving the landmarks in his favor and encroaching on the land of a widow or orphan, how could anyone plead his case when God is the perfect witness and sees everything, which means nothing escaped His notice. The person who has stolen land might as well just admit it and take the punishment.
Prov 23:12 (KJB)
Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
Apply - Bring
If one hears wise instruction and words of knowledge, it does not do any good until they are applied to one’s life. It is like having a burn on one’s skin and you get a salve which would heal it, the salve does no good if it is not applied to the burn. The word “apply” carries with it the idea of “to bring.” I wonder how many sit in church on Sunday’s and leave their spiritual ears or their spiritual hearts at home and never apply what they have heard. We must never let our minds wander nor have our ears distracted when hearing the truths of Scripture being taught. Too many play music or watch TV and try to absorb biblical teachings at the same time. God’s word requires full attention whenever it is being expounded or studied.
Prov 23:13 (KJB)
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Correction - Chastisement or discipline
This verse, as others, teach us that children definitely need correction. If they refuse to listen to words, then a rod of correction is needed. If discipline is given properly, the child will not be harmed but will be trained. I always remember Dr. Robert A. Cook saying that when he was younger, his father did not hesitate to “apply the board of education to the seat of knowledge.” My father was old school and I felt his hand of correction many times. It didn’t feel good at the time but I can openly say that I never had a criminal record of any kind. As I grew older I understood the necessity of discipline. If God states that the children need to be disciplined, then they should be and we should not question God’s teaching. Again, it goes back to the previous verse, if we do not apply what we know to be true, then many troubles will begin to plague us, both now and in the future.
Prov 23:14 (KJB)
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Beat - To strike or to hit
First of all the word “beat” does not bear the same meaning it has in modern day usage. The word means to “strike or hit” which speaks of disciplining a child. Today we look at the word “beat” and associate it with someone who has been beaten up so bad that they died or had to be hospitalized. This verse is speaking about disciplining a child to bring them back to the right path. Parental discipline does not mean that a child will be saved, salvation comes through Christ alone. This means that if a child responds properly to discipline, then they will be saved from an immense amount of sin which will cause them to go to Hell. The idea is to bring them into a right relationship with Christ while simultaneously explaining to them why discipline is important. Maybe through the biblical teachings the child may become saved and then he will be totally delivered from hell. The desired result of proper discipline is to guide the child on a right path with the teachings of Scripture guiding their mind.
Prov 23:15 (KJB)
My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
Here is the result we spoke of in verse 14. If a child responds properly to discipline, whether hands on or verbal explanation of their wrongdoing, and becomes saved as a result of the discipline, then the parents who are saved, will rejoice with the child’s heart. This is because two saved hearts identify with each other and can fellowship with each other. (1 John 1:7 KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. Both are in the light and both rejoice. Child abuse is much different than child discipline. Discipline is done for the child’s well-being but child abuse is done for the evil pleasure of the sadist, the two must never be confused or spoken of in the same sentence. For nowhere in the Bible does God ever condone child abuse.