Proverbs 23:21-25
Prov 23:21 (KJB)
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
The same reward awaits the drunkard, glutton, and lazy man. They will be brought down to a base level of life. Apparently, God views laziness as a sin equal with drunkenness and gluttony. Drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10) (1 Cor 6:9-10 KJV) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, {10} Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. This may also be a warning to those who are drunk on the self-centered life. Drunkards spend all their money on alcohol and the glutton spends massive amounts of money on food. The lazy or drowsy man does not even have any money because he refuses to go to work. The life of sin may be different for people, but the results of a sinful life are all the same and that is loss. Loss of goods on earth, loss of family, loss of friends, loss of fellowship, and if they do not get saved loss of soul in hell.
Prov 23:22 (KJB)
Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
Hearken - Listen and hear with understanding
Solomon is warning his children that while everything seems to be good in the family unit, there is going to come a time when the parents become old. This verse may be leaning toward the previous verse concerning the three sinful lifestyles. He is warning his children that they should not adopt a sinful lifestyle and he is stating that they need to listen and hear what he is telling them. Sin may have its appeal to the flesh on the surface, but behind all the smiles, there are severe consequences. He is also telling his children not to despise their mother when she is old. Sometimes children grow up lazy and their mother still washes their clothes and makes their bed, and then comes a time when the mother gets older and cannot do it. So instead of the lazy person doing it themselves, they despise their mother for not taking care of them as she did when she was younger. One thing many people do not understand, that you can only do what your body is able to do. So if these children despise their parents, then they are in violation of the fifth commandment.
Prov 23:23 (KJB)
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
Buy - Acquire
This verse is admonishing us to buy the truth, that is to acquire the truth and not to sell it. The word “sell” carries with it the idea of “abandon.” So here the verse is telling us that when we have the truth, we must never abandon that truth for falsehood, no matter what immediate reward we may reap. We may know the truth but instead of telling that truth in its entirety, we may fall prey to another’s teaching or method and abandon the truths we have learned. Truth is a constant and can never be changed, only neglected. Accompanying truth, the believer should also buy or acquire wisdom in every situation. No matter how small a situation is, wisdom will always have a part in it. Then as humans we all need instruction, simply because we never stop learning and it always is a great benefit to add to our knowledge. Then we should add understanding. Once we gain instruction, it would be wise for us to understand that instruction. Too many people go through life as intellectual robots just doing things because that is how we always did it. It would be great to understand the particulars of the things we do and believe. This verse also teaches us that once we acquire the truth of Scripture, we must apply the wisdom of the Scriptures which we learn through the instruction of the Scriptures and then we will have good understanding.
Prov 23:24 (KJB)
The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
If there is one thing that brings true joy to believing parents, it is the fact their children have become saved. With that salvation comes the wisdom for every day life and also the wisdom of the Scriptures. As a child continues to grow in the Scriptures, they increase their wisdom and these things bring joy to a parent because as the child shows wisdom, the parents can also have a trust in them at an earlier age. This makes for a better home life. In contrast those children who are unsaved and riotous, make family life much worse and cause much pain for the parents. A wise son in ancient times was good for the family because as he grew up, he could then take over the family business or farm, and the parents could then take it a little easier as they grew old. This is a great reward for the parents as they teach their young children the Bible and if God saves them, then their job is made much easier.
Prov 23:25 (KJB)
Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
The parents of a righteous or saved child shall be glad because they see that their children are not in opposition to them. Normally children growing up will have a rebellious streak in them and see their parents as the enemy. The righteous child sees them as a friend and desires to do things for them, thus fulfilling the fifth commandment. A mother can be hurt very easily by a child who rebels but when she has a child that is righteous, she will rejoice because she has brought a child into the world that the world will not despise but will like. This child will be good for society and not a burden on it.