Proverbs, chapters 18-19 are compiled of ‘standalone’ personal proverbs.  Almost each verse in these two chapters stand by themselves as unique and complete.  What a sad condition that necessitated such a verse as Proverbs 19:26 which says, “He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.” 

Solomon prefaced this proverb with verses 20-21, “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”  He pleads with his readers to listen to what was being said.  There was great wisdom in his words as he wrote according to the leading of the Lord.  Although men seek to determine what is right and what is wrong, it is the counsel of the Lord that never changes and is never wrong.  Solomon wrote earlier in this book that, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25.)

Let’s look at verse 26 carefully:

“He that wasteth his father…”  This has to do with wasting one’s father’s substance.  This tends to waste his father’s spirits and his health, and it will bring him down with sorrow to the grave.  I think many of us have seen such behavior…a father gives his child money or financial support only to have them waste it or squander it away.  This is heartbreaking to the father who saved and did without so that he could provide for his son, only to see him waste it.

“Chaseth away his mother…”  This speaks of one who alienates his mother’s affections from him, one who once had such great a fondness for him.  It causes her to leave her house, not being able to bear the sight of him and of his actions.  How great must be a son’s behavior that even his mother cannot tolerate his presence. 

“(He) is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.”  This type of man brings shame to his parents, as well as to himself. 

I’m sure this reminds many of us of the prodigal son.  This young man took his inheritance early, left home, wasted all his inheritance and eventually took a job feeding pigs, where he found himself eating the pigs’ food.  Even after all this man did, there was still forgiveness for him when he returned to his father in repentance.  We read in Luke 15:20-23, “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry.”  Even as the prodigal son’s father forgave him and received him back into the family, so the Lord will do for those who have strayed from Him.  He promises us in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  May we be careful to live lives that honor the Lord and not dishonor Him.  May we not waste the gifts He has given us.  May we not cause Him to be ashamed of us for our actions and attitudes.  If we have sinned against Him, let us be quick to confess our sins and allow Him to receive us back to full fellowship with Himself.  (441.6)