2 Timothy 3.16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Proverbs 10.17 He [is in] the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

One of the hardest, and yet most necessary lessons in life is that of taking instruction. The Proverbs say, “take fast hold of instruction; let [her] not go: keep her; for she [is] thy life.” To take fast hold of instruction means that we will seek to apply whatever instruction is given to us quickly. Because of the fall of man, our tendency is to resist correction from others for any number of reasons. Whenever we do this, it is always to our demise. When the young man refused to heed the instruction given to him regarding the strange or loose woman, he declared, “how have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof.’ The sad end of his story ( and all who follow his path) is “he shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray”.

The tragic plight of this man holds true for any of us who refuse to heed good, godly instruction. God tells us that taking fast hold of instruction is of more value than riches and wealth. “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.” What an evil tyrant being a “know-it-all” is. It reduces an image bearer of God into the likeness of an animal. “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof [is] brutish.” Note the different outcomes in life between this who receive instruction and those who refuse it. “Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.” Our flesh is so corrupt and resistant of the things of God that we read that the instruction of fools [is] folly. A person who refuses instruction is a person who is given to folly.

The moral of the story is simple. Listen and live; disobey and die. May we hear the words of The Master in the depths of our souls. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”