Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
That’s a blunt translation! It gets, however, to the essential difference between the wise and the foolish; indeed, it expresses the reason why the wise are wise and the foolish are foolish. The lover of knowledge loves discipline because discipline leads him to knowledge. He wants to be corrected when his thinking is going astray because more dear to him than his ego is obtaining truth.
The fool hates reproof because more important to him than truth is his pride. It is more important to him to think that others consider him knowledgeable than to actually be knowledgeable. Opinion – opinion about himself – is what matters most.
That kind of thinking, according to the proverb, is plain stupid because it leaves the fool with a stupid mind. He is stupid about what truly matters and is stupid in relation to how much knowledge he possesses. The wise use reproof to their benefit to train their minds, to gain further knowledge, to become more self-disciplined and thus lead to respect and usefulness.
Apply this spiritually. Remember, God disciplines us because we are his children. We are to desire discipline so that we may grow in righteousness, that we may know God rightly, that we may be useful in Christ’s kingdom. We should desire to be corrected about our speech, our doctrine, our behavior so that all the more we will conform to Christ Jesus. Be alert to God’s ways of correcting you today through your circumstances and the words of others, however they may be said to you.
2 Samuel 8-9
8 In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Metheg Ammah from the control of the Philistines.
2 David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought him tribute.
3 Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to restore his monument at the River Euphrates. 4 David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses.
5 When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them. 6 He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.
7 David took the gold shields that belonged to the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 From Tebah and Berothai, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, King David took a great quantity of bronze.
9 When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer, 10 he sent his son Joram to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory in battle over Hadadezer, who had been at war with Tou. Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold and of bronze.
11 King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold from all the nations he had subdued: 12 Edom and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek. He also dedicated the plunder taken from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
13 And David became famous after he returned from striking down eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.
14 He put garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.
15 David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people. 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelek son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.
David and Mephibosheth
9 David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’
2 Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, ‘Are you Ziba?’
‘At your service,’ he replied.
3 The king asked, ‘Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?’
Ziba answered the king, ‘There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.’
4 ‘Where is he?’ the king asked.
Ziba answered, ‘He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.’
5 So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.
6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honour.
David said, ‘Mephibosheth!’
‘At your service,’ he replied.
7 ‘Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.’
8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?’
9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, ‘I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.’ (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
11 Then Ziba said to the king, ‘Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.’ So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.
12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.