Summary: A look at Proverbs chapter four.
Pearls From Proverbs – Chapter Four
We now turn to chapter four of Proverbs.
THE FATHER AND HIS CHILDREN
1 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, And give attention to know understanding; 2 For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law. 3 When I was my father's son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, 4 He also taught me, and said to me: "Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live. Proverbs 4:1-4 (NKJV)
As a good father instructs his children – so too, God wants to instruct us. Instruction carries with it reproof and correction – two things none of us like but need. Instruction also carries with it the obligation of obedience. If one does not obey – how can they learn? Get wisdom – take pains to get it. For an athlete to grow strong there must be sacrifice and pain. So too we who are spiritual athletes will suffer pain – for the greater good.
God always gives that which is good – His doctrine and law are no exception.
5 Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:5-7 (NKJV)
If you want wisdom – you must decide to go after it. It will take effort to obtain it. It will take resolve and a determination. Do not abandon the search once you begin, no matter how difficult the road may become. The road is long – it will take a lifetime of travel. It is not a once-in-a-lifetime step but a daily process of choosing between two paths – God’s way or the way of the wicked. But there is nothing is more valuable or important.
Even though wisdom is the principle thing – what good is it without understanding? To be wise and have no common sense is foolishness. A person can be highly educated – yet still do stupid things. A person can be a professor at a university will all kinds of diplomas hanging on the wall – yet have no fear of God. When all is said and done – what value is that?
8 Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you."
Proverbs 4:8-9 (NKJV)
These two verses are a conditional statement. If you exalt wisdom:
1. She will promote you
2. She will bring you honor
3. She will cover your head with an ornament of grace
4. She will crown you with glory
5. She will deliver you
The Holman translation says it this way:
“Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you. She will place a garland of grace on your head; she will give you a crown of beauty.” Proverbs 4:8-9 (HCSB)
Whatever else we do – the first importance is to embrace wisdom.
10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many. 11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life. Proverbs 4:10-13 (NKJV)
If we follow wisdom she will teach us to walk in righteousness. True wisdom will teach us to keep out of embarrassing situations. The fear of God will lead a person to live an upright and honest life. There are many traps and snares in this world – but if you take a firm hold on wisdom she will never let you go – for she is your life.
THE PATH OF THE WICKED
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence. Proverbs 4:14-17 (NKJV)
Even your friends can make you fall. It is easy to submit to the pressure of friends. Many people who want to be accepted would never confront or criticize a friend for bad plans or misguided actions. While we should be accepting of others we need to realize that there are many people who will lead us astray. When you feel yourself being heavily influenced, proceed with caution. Do not let your friends cause you to slip and fall into sin.