Proverbs 13:24

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
– Proverbs 13:24

This proverb speaks directly and plainly to parents rearing children. More modern times turns the words upside down to make them opposite their intended meaning. The contrast is between love and hate and sparing and chastening. Love and hate are not to be understood only in terms of emotion and sentiment. They are meant to speak to actions. The word for rod means a branch or stick and it is an instrument of correction (Proverbs 10:13; 19:18; 22:15; 29:15, 17). To spare the rod is to withhold correction and it is a hateful action toward the child because they are not being trained. The word for betimes means early and points to early in life and maybe also early in the sense of being quick to give needed corrections. The motive of correction should always be the child’s good (Hebrews 12:5-11) and should not be done in anger or severity (Ephesians 6:4).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series

Proverbs 3:11

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
– Proverbs 3:11

Verses 11 and 12 describe a crucial means of obtaining wisdom—the discipline of correction. The writer of Hebrews provides an exposition of this passage in Hebrews 12:5-13. To despise is to spurn or reject and the alternative is to endure or bear up under the chastening correction (Hebrews 12:7). The alternative is to be exercised or trained up under the correction (Hebrews 12:11). The writer of Hebrews also points out that the Lord’s chastening comes out love for his children and even his reception of them as children, i.e. he is a father to them (Hebrews 12:6). So as a perfect father, God always chastens his children for their good (Hebrews 12:10). Thus, we should not despise it.

Solomon admonishes that we are not to despise and neither are we to grow weary of his correction. Growing weary has the idea of coming to loathe or abhor it. He is obviously exhorting us to patience that the chastening might do the full work in us. The chastening is training and refining us and we should not kick against it or come to hate it. Judah grew weary of the Lord’s chastening and despised it in Isaiah’s day. Because of their disobedience and rebellion, God sent the Assyrians against them and rather than repenting and trusting in the Lord, they sought Egypt to help them against the Assyrians contrary to the word of God. They actually chided God’s prophets and told them to quit prophesying about the coming of Messiah because they wanted something more immediate and convenient (Isaiah 30:9-12).

Listen to the Proverbs sermon series