Today we make our way to Proverbs 4: in it, Solomon sets forth three important truths: (1) the exhortation to seek wisdom and understanding; (2) the exhortation to abhor ungodly companions; and (3) the exhortation to live a righteous and holy life.
This morning, I want us to study the first nine verses of Proverbs.
In verses, 1-2 Solomon says, "Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law." In the context, Solomon is speaking to his children. However, God uses His Word to speak also to you and me. Solomon implores them to pay attention to his instruction and to listen in order to gain understanding. Every parent should desire their children to listen to their instruction, and more importantly, and in a broader sense, listen to God, in order to learn from Him. In verse two, the word doctrine basically has the idea of teaching. No doubt God's Word is what we need most to learn from as it instructs us concerning the issues of life. We should not forsake the teachings of our parents or our great God.
Verses 3-4, "For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live." The focus returns to Solomon and his earthly parents. Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba. Clearly implied is the sweet relationship he had with his mother. Verse four has in view the fatherly advice given by David to his son Solomon when he was a youth. The basic instruction of David to his son was, “Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” This is great advice even to this day. A wise father will teach his children to pay attention to Him and to obey what is being taught. The result is quantity and quality of life. A wise parent will lay the foundation for instruction and obedience early in the life of a child. A rebellious and disobedient child is typically the fault of poor parenting.
In verses 5-6 the focus returns to Solomon’s instruction to his children. "Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee." Solomon gives a series of imperatives which frame the primary purpose of the Book of Proverbs. God's children are instructed to get wisdom and understanding. It is important to realize wisdom is seeing things as God sees them, while understanding is knowing how wisdom applies to your life. Gaining both wisdom and understanding is at issue and they are not learned passively. Every child of God must work as a student of the Bible in order to gain wisdom and understanding. We are commanded, "forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth." Therefore, verse six states: "Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee." Obtaining and developing godly wisdom will be a wall of protection for God's children. It will both preserve and keep us.
Finally, verses 7-9 are a direct conclusion. Verse 7, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." The word "principal" speaks of that which is primary or first. Life is about getting wisdom and understanding. God’s people desperately need to seek after and develop godly wisdom built upon a right understanding of the issues of life from the Word of God. Verse 8 "Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her." Be reminded, "her" refers to wisdom. When we exalt wisdom, making it a high priority in life, she will promote us and honor us when we embrace her. Additional blessings are expressed in verse nine, "She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee." Wisdom and understanding will not only bring promotion in life, they will add graciousness and even glory to us. In short, the obtaining of godly wisdom is a wonderful blessing. It will protect, promote, and bring honor and glory. How foolish are the multitudes who ignore the wisdom of God? How smart are those who seek after and obtain such wisdom?
Have a great day as you make wisdom and understanding the principal things in your life.
Your Friend and His,