Proverbs 16:31 through 17:6 are book-ended with references to crowns of glory, the wisdom of age that is gained in a righteous life. This glory is shared between generations, as Peter Leithart points out, “Old men are crowned by having grandchildren. Through grandchildren, old men can reach into a future they will never live to see, beyond even the future of their children. Through grandchildren a man’s name and legacy live on generations beyond his lifetime. He is a ruler to generations. On the other hand, sons find glory in their fathers. Sons receive the name and heritage of their fathers, and are able to build on their fathers’ achievements. If old men are crowned with grandchildren, sons receive a crown of glory from fathers. Ultimately, there is a Trinitarian point here. The generations are to live together as the eternal Father and Son. The Father glorifies the Son, and so sons are to receive glory from their fathers. Yet the Son also lives to glorify His Father, and so sons, and grandsons, bestow glory on their fathers. In the Trinity, the ‘generation gap’ of Father and Son is united by the Spirit, the shared glory of Father and Son, and the same Spirit joins generation to generation.”
Solomon proceeds after this to contrast wisdom and folly, which could be considered the main point of the whole book. “Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.” What we say is who we are, as Jesus said, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Paul expands this to encompass our whole life, everything we do. “I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Our speech and our manner of life should fit our station. We no longer walk as the Gentiles do because we are no longer sons of the tyrant. Lies are unbecoming for sons of the Truth. What place does bitterness or wrath or anger or fighting have in a son of the Prince of Peace? There is no room for boasting or pride or selfishness in the child of the One who humbled Himself to death on the cross. We are sons of the King, let us live it.