Give attention to my words | P4-V20

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:20 

I die daily devotional.

19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.
20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.

21 Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.


Pruning off the previous devotional. We discovered that the ruler of this world is Satan, and Satan has been judged condemned. And if we circle back to John 8, we discover that the father of the unbelieving Jews is the devil. To believe in Jesus is to give attention to His words and incline your ear to His sayings because they are of our Father in Heaven by fellowship with us in the Holy Spirit today.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V20) Commentary
Solomon, having warned us not to do evil, here teaches us how to do well. It is not enough for us to shun the occasions of sin, but we must study the methods of duty.

  • I. We must have a continual regard to the word of God and endeavour that it may be always ready to us.
    • 1. The sayings of wisdom must be our principles by which we must govern ourselves, our monitors to warn us of duty and danger; and therefore,
      • (1.) We must receive them readily: “Incline thy ear to them (v. 20); humbly bow to them; diligently listen to them.” The attentive hearing of the word of God is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart and a good means of carrying it on. It is to be hoped that those are resolved to do their duty who are inclined to know it.

The way of the wicked | P4-V19

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:19 

I die daily devotional.

18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.

20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.


I hope you, reader, are sleeping well, or having a good day, wherever you are in this world. I pray that your devotion as a follower of Christ is consistent and are found in good spiritual health; I hope for all that are within our sphere of influence—no matter where we are—to be impacted by our shared faith in Jesus, the God and Savior of mankind.

Jesus said,

 (AMP) John 16:But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; 10 about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.

Note: something I like about the AMP version is the inserted [added] context of which aids in perspective, but let me just say; I don’t think of that aid as what Jesus meant when I read the text, rather—as I read—only to offer help in navigating the context that can be quickly abandoned when fleshly desires rule interpretation (which is our common temptation and not a good feeling when realizing it).

The world is convicted about sin, righteousness, and judgement…

That text in John, Jesus gives, sends me on a spiritual journey that seems to end in a distant future place where only mental images might describe as, my symbolic arrival to the revelation of such judgement described in the text, a judgement that occurred at this Word junction of Christ some 2000 years ago; And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; 11 and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

If I’m understanding correctly, the “He” Jesus is referring to, is the ‘Holy Spirit‘. And the Holy Spirit was not only poured out on the Jews, but us Gentiles as well, and that feels like a profound discovery of understanding considering our verse—19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble—because the knowledge of the truth is essential when recognizing the sin, righteousness, and judgement, Jesus is talking about. Those who are resisting the Holy Spirit will continue to stumble over their lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and their pride of life, all of which is described throughout the Old and New Testament.

But why?…

When I think of the people of this world categorized as wicked, my old self comes to mind because of my ignorance to the knowledge of the truth during my practice of wicked behavior—while believing myself to be saved as a Christian. I thought I was sealed as promised by the Word of God, but there was so much that didn’t make sense to the reason I chose to experience what was contrary to the gospel, behaving in a way that pleased my flesh, although miserable to the point of suicide on many occasions; prescription drugs and confusion will do that.

I think its only been by the truth of my ignorance, love of the Holy Spirit, and grace of God that the power of Christ has manifest in my survival from death and spiritual condemnation. And if that’s true, then that might be you too, and that is why this site is called what it is. But to come to the knowledge of the truth is to learn what it means to escape from the lust of this world and by faith, increase in moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

There are those I know that seem ignorant of the knowledge of the truth, and I can’t help but to wonder what that ignorance might mean for them as many are held captive to false teaching, but is it that they are held captive against their will or are they desiring rather to be held captive by the wicked pleasures of sin?

Hmmm….


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V19) Commentary
(2.) The way of sin is as darkness, v. 19. The works he had cautioned us not to have fellowship with are works of darkness. What true pleasure and satisfaction can those have who know no pleasure and satisfaction but what they have in doing mischief? What sure guide have those that cast God’s word behind them? The way of the wicked is dark, and therefore dangerous; for they stumble and yet know not at what they stumble. They fall into sin, but are not aware which way the temptation came by which they were overthrown, and therefore know not how to avoid it the next time. They fall into trouble, but never enquire wherefore God contends with them; they consider not that they do evil, nor what will be in the end of it, Ps. 82:5Job 18:5, 6. This is the way we are directed to shun.

The path of the righteous | P4-V18

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:18

I die daily devotional.

17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.


Gawww I love this verse, it’s so uplifting in contrast to the doom and gloom of our previous verses—although necessary.

The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, our sun ever shining brighter and brighter until the full day in the nether regions across the globe as the earth spins on its axis, providing light for those caught in the thicket of wickedness to the path of righteousness. I pray we’re on the path of righteousness by the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, thank you Lord.

Whenever we’ve been set on the path of the righteous, the experience is like the joy of light when seen at dawn, how the body is moved from wonder to purpose, until finally, glory!

Don’t get me wrong, the process to righteousness is structured on the revelation of Christ, and Christ our Lord, Jesus, suffered the discipline of our Father to the point of death so that we might understand this gift of eternal life through belief in Him. The process of discipline is painful, and thankfully we have the Holy Spirit to help us in our time of need when resisting the temptation of Satan to have the pleasure of sin and belief in “Him”. The death we must die, is a death we died with Christ in baptism, and now comes the testing, but don’t worry, look to the light of dawn as your mental state transforms from the old self to the new.

The measure of righteousness is the brightness of the shine, and so are we shining brighter and brighter or regressing dimmer and dimmer? Just look to the light of dawn—Jesus Christ.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V18) Commentary
2. “Consider the character of the way itself which thou art warned to shun, compared with the right way which thou art invited to walk in.”

  • (1.) The way of righteousness is light (v. 18): The path of the just, which they have chosen, and in which they walk, is as light; the light shines on their ways (Job 22:28) and makes them both safe and pleasant. Christ is their way and he is the light. They are guided by the word of God and that is a light to their feet; they themselves are light in the Lord and they walk in the light as he is in the light.
    • [1.] It is a shining light. Their way shines to themselves in the joy and comfort of it; it shines before others in the lustre and honour of it; it shines before men, who see their good works, Mt. 5:16. They go on in their way with a holy security and serenity of mind, as those that walk in the light. It is as the morning-light, which shines out of obscurity (Isa. 58:810) and puts an end to the works of darkness.
    • [2.] It is a growing light; it shines more and more, not like the light of a meteor, which soon disappears, or that of a candle, which burns dim and burns down, but like that of the rising sun, which goes forward shining, mounts upward shining. Grace, the guide of this way, is growing; he that has clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. That joy which is the pleasure of this way, that honour which is the brightness of it, and all that happiness which is indeed its light, shall be still increasing.
    • [3.] It will arrive, in the end, at the perfect day. The light of the dayspring will at length be noon-day light, and it is this that the enlightened soul is pressing towards. The saints will not be perfect till they come to heaven, but there they shall themselves shine as the sun when he goes forth in his strength, Mt. 13:43. Their graces and joys shall be all consummate. Therefore it is our wisdom to keep close to the path of the just.

Bread of wickedness and wine of violence | P4-V17

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:17

I die daily devotional.

16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.


As the night deepens and cover of darkness thickens, so too are the souls resisting the breath of the Holy Spirit for salvation from which evil rules, a conscience seared by the branding iron of death for eternal destruction.

1 Timothy 4:1 But the [Holy] Spirit explicitly and unmistakably declares that in later times some will turn away from the faith, paying attention instead to deceitful and seductive spirits and doctrines of demons, [misled] by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared as with a branding iron [leaving them incapable of ethical functioning], who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from [certain kinds of] foods which God has created to be gratefully shared by those who believe and have [a clear] knowledge of the truth.

My heart breaks for all, but especially those within my sphere of influence, that would much rather deny the eternal covenant made between God and man for eternal salvation to have but a moment of relief offered by the dragon of this world. My heart breaks…


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V17) Commentary
(2.) Mischief is meat and drink to them; they feed and feast upon it. They eat the bread of the wickedness (they eat up my people as they eat bread, Ps. 14:4and drink the wine of violence (v. 17), drink iniquity like water, Job 15:16. All they eat and drink is got by rapine and oppression. Do wicked men think the time lost in which they are not doing hurt? Let good men make it as much their business and delight to do good. Amici, diem perdidi-Friends, I have lost a day. And let all that are wise, and wish well to themselves, avoid the society of the wicked; for,

[1.] It is very scandalous; for there is no disposition of mind that is a greater reproach to human nature, a greater enemy to human society, a bolder defiance to God and conscience, that has more of the devil’s image in it, or is more serviceable to his interests, than a delight to do mischief and to vex, and hurt, and ruin every body.

[2.] It is very dangerous. “Shun those that delight to do mischief as thou tenderest thy own safety; for, whatever friendship they may pretend, one time or other they will do thee mischief; thou wilt ruin thyself if thou dost concur with them (ch. 1:18) and they will ruin thee if thou dost not.”

For they are robbed of sleep | P4-V16

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:16 

I die daily devotional.

15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.

17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence.


Okay, so… as promised, from our previous devotional; Jesus is the line drawn in the soul of every person. And the Holy Spirit convicts the world by that line—we’ll get to that. But just as the scribes and Pharisees tested Jesus by bringing a woman caught in adultery—not for the reason of adultery, but for accusing Him—so do we do to each other as a faith body; we are the church, and yet, we test Jesus and seek occasion to accuse the Holy Spirit by apostasy.

John 8:6 They said this to test Him, hoping that they would have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and began writing on the ground with His finger. However, when they persisted in questioning Him, He straightened up and said, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He stooped down again and started writing on the ground.

Now lets fast forward, after our Lord’s ascension to the Father, we find the apostles functioning as that line drawn. Check this out! Remember when Ananias and his wife Sapphira were busted for lying? What happened to them?

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and [secretly] keep back for yourself some of the proceeds [from the sale] of the land? As long as it remained [unsold], did it not remain your own [to do with as you pleased]? And after it was sold, was the money not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this act [of hypocrisy and deceit] in your heart? You have not [simply] lied to people, but to God.” And hearing these words, Ananias fell down suddenly and died; and great fear and awe gripped those who heard of it.

Lets not forget that these men are still men born from the seed of Adam, men that we would judge no different than us as sinners saved by grace through their faith in Jesus Christ, and yet… there they were, empowered with the authority of the Holy Spirit to exercise justice among the growing church of believers.

So now lets fast forward to modern times, why do believers today behave as though the Holy Spirit is not here?

For anyone who claims themselves as Christians and practices sin… have you then, truly believed? Do you truly understand what it means to be saved and equipped with the Holy Spirit, having faith that produces fruits for righteous behavior? Do you truly have a personality changed by the fact of your baptismal event, or was it just an event?

If a person is still in sin, making a practice of lustful feeling and prideful thinking, that person has yet to be born again because only then can that person truly be empowered with the help of the Holy Spirit to change from old sin to the new creature within, the creature of righteousness!

 16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.

The wisest man ended up chasing after other gods even in fellowship with the God, our Lord and God, Jesus Christ. Are we so prideful to think that we’ve been saved to remain in our sins as though bound by other gods to feel out pornography or to think lies unseen by God? …

Can you sleep?


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V16) Commentary
II. The reasons to enforce this caution.

  • 1. “Consider the character of the men whose way thou art warned to shun.” They are mischievous men (v. 16, 17); they not only care not what hurt they do to those that stand in their way, but it is their business to do mischief, and their delight, purely for mischief-sake. They are continually designing and endeavouring to cause some to fall, to ruin them body and soul. Wickedness and malice are in their nature, and violence is in all their actions. They are spiteful in the highest degree; for,
    • (1.) Mischief is rest and sleep to them. As much satisfaction as a covetous man has when he has got money, an ambitious man when he has got preferment, and a good man when he has done good, so much have they when they have said or done that which is injurious and ill-natured; and they are extremely uneasy if they cannot get their envy and revenge gratified, as Haman, to whom every thing was unpleasant as long as Mordecai was unhanged. It intimates likewise how restless and unwearied they are in their mischievous pursuits; they will rather be deprived of sleep than of the pleasure of being vexatious.
    • (2.) Mischief is meat and drink to them; they feed and feast upon it. They eat the bread of the wickedness (they eat up my people as they eat bread, Ps. 14:4and drink the wine of violence (v. 17), drink iniquity like water, Job 15:16. All they eat and drink is got by rapine and oppression. Do wicked men think the time lost in which they are not doing hurt? Let good men make it as much their business and delight to do good. Amici, diem perdidi-Friends, I have lost a day. And let all that are wise, and wish well to themselves, avoid the society of the wicked; for,
      • [1.] It is very scandalous; for there is no disposition of mind that is a greater reproach to human nature, a greater enemy to human society, a bolder defiance to God and conscience, that has more of the devil’s image in it, or is more serviceable to his interests, than a delight to do mischief and to vex, and hurt, and ruin every body.
      • [2.] It is very dangerous. “Shun those that delight to do mischief as thou tenderest thy own safety; for, whatever friendship they may pretend, one time or other they will do thee mischief; thou wilt ruin thyself if thou dost concur with them (ch. 1:18) and they will ruin thee if thou dost not.”

Avoid it | P4-V15

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:15 

I die daily devotional.

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.

16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.


I just burned myself… yep… with coffee. Never a good idea! I could’ve avoided that from happening had I not prepared any coffee whatsoever, should’ve passed on from that coffee maker, but it looked at me; or … I could’ve just paid more attention to what I was doing.

Okay, so…

This is no weak discipline that I can attest to experiencing when heeding the instruction of this wisdom. To believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God in a world that resists the Holy Spirit is ever challenging to the soul because of what the flesh craves by way of reminder, what we’ve been saved from through repentance of old sins.

2 Peter 1:9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind—shortsighted [closing his spiritual eyes to the truth], having become oblivious to the fact that he was cleansed from his old sins.

The world that resists the Holy Spirit is regressing further into the delusion of sin, and much of that activity can appear very… enchanting, to the flesh, not the spirit—if the Spirit of Christ is in us.

So how do we avoid it, the enticing behavior of regressing sinful activity? How do we go forth from our church, or home, into the world and not pass by it; sin?

Or how do we go to work, turn away from it and pass on without becoming homeless?

Better yet… at what point is the line drawn for unrepentant people, and we remove ourselves from that environment?

Well…

You got me! We’re all gonna die!

No, but here is what I really think

Jesus is that line drawn in every person’s life whether they’ve accepted or resisted the judgement of that line. There is a lot to say about that concept, but the idea was inspired by the verses where Jesus is writing on the ground:

John 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came back into the temple [court], and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began teaching them. Now the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the center of the courtand they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women [to death]. So what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?” They said this to test Him, hoping that they would have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and began writing on the ground with His finger. However, when they persisted in questioning Him, He straightened up and said, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He stooped down again and started writing on the ground. They listened [to His reply], and they began to go out one by one, starting with the oldest ones, until He was left alone, with the woman [standing there before Him] in the center of the court10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She answered, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

More to say on this tomorrow.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V15) Commentary
I. The caution itself, v. 14, 15.

1. We must take heed of falling in with sin and sinners: Enter not into the paths of the wicked. Our teacher, having like a faithful guide shown us the right paths (v. 11), here warns us of the by-paths into which we are in danger of being drawn aside. Those that have been well educated, and trained up in the way they should go, let them never turn aside into the way they should not go; let them not so much as enter into it, no, not to make trial of it, lest it prove a dangerous experiment and difficult to retreat with safety. “Venture not into the company of those that are infected with the plague, no, not though thou think thyself guarded with an antidote.”

2. If at any time we are inveigled into an evil way, we must hasten out of it. “If, ere thou wast aware, thou didst enter in at the gate, because it was wide, go not on in the way of evil men. As soon as thou art made sensible of thy mistake, retire immediately, take not a step more, stay not a minute longer, in the way that certainly leads to destruction.”

3. We must dread and detest the ways of sin and sinners, and decline them with the utmost care imaginable. “The way of evil men may seem a pleasant way and sociable, and the nearest way to the compassing of some secular end we may have in view; but it is an evil way, and will end ill, and therefore if thou love thy God and thy soul avoid it, pass not by it, that thou mayest not be tempted to enter into it; and, if thou find thyself near it, turn from it and pass away, and get as far off it as thou canst.” The manner of expression intimates the imminent danger we are in, the need we have of this caution, and the great importance of it, and that our watchmen are, or should be, in good earnest, in giving us warning. It intimates likewise at what a distance we should keep from sin and sinners; he does not say, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance, the further the better; never think you can get far enough from it. Escape for thy life: look not behind thee.

Do not enter or proceed | P4-V14

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:14 

I die daily devotional.

13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil men.

15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.


It’s these particular proverbs that impact me differently than others, and I think the reason might be because of what information I’ve gathered about people (including my wife) who have come to a place of belief where worthiness of the upright path is seemingly impossible, after all, we’re all sinners, so that answers that, right?

What I find peculiar about this wisdom is how Solomon didn’t keep it:

1 Kings 11:9 So the Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe (remember, obey) what the Lord had commanded. 11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 However, I will not do it in your lifetime, for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son (Rehoboam). 13 However, I will not tear away all the kingdom; I will give one tribe (Judah) to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”

Which seems to me that Solomon became much like that anointed cherub angel we read about in Ezekiel 28:

14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers and protects,
And I placed you there.
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked in the midst of the stones of fire [sparkling jewels].
15 “You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness and evil were found in you.

See… God… by His Word, gives us the path of wisdom and way of understanding, but not manipulatively; the choice to be and remain blameless in our ways is within our capacity to do so by the fact of God’s Word, His Spirit of fellowship with us who’ve died to sin for righteousness within. Jesus Christ didn’t die so that we would believe ourselves unworthy of obedience to righteousness, but died so that we might become worthy of His righteousness that reconciles us to God by fellowship with His Spirit alive in us today.

The responsibility we have to our precious gift of salvation is this faith filled proclamation—eternal life. The Lord our God is not sitting idle as though a throne of stone, but because Jesus Christ is the Son of God at the right hand of power, our Father in Heaven—Hallowed be His Name—the Kingdom is come, and His will… finished on the cross …be done. What more need be said?

1 John 5:11 And the testimony is this: God has given us eternal life [we already possess it], and this life is in His Son [resulting in our spiritual completeness, and eternal companionship with Him]. 12 He who has the Son [by accepting Him as Lord and Savior] has the life [that is eternal]; he who does not have the Son of God [by personal faith] does not have the life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God [which represents all that Jesus Christ is and does], so that you will know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have eternal life.

RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V14) Commentary
Here is,

  • I. The caution itself, v. 14, 15.
    • 1. We must take heed of falling in with sin and sinners: Enter not into the paths of the wicked. Our teacher, having like a faithful guide shown us the right paths (v. 11), here warns us of the by-paths into which we are in danger of being drawn aside. Those that have been well educated, and trained up in the way they should go, let them never turn aside into the way they should not go; let them not so much as enter into it, no, not to make trial of it, lest it prove a dangerous experiment and difficult to retreat with safety. “Venture not into the company of those that are infected with the plague, no, not though thou think thyself guarded with an antidote.”
    • 2. If at any time we are inveigled into an evil way, we must hasten out of it. “If, ere thou wast aware, thou didst enter in at the gate, because it was wide, go not on in the way of evil men. As soon as thou art made sensible of thy mistake, retire immediately, take not a step more, stay not a minute longer, in the way that certainly leads to destruction.”
    • 3. We must dread and detest the ways of sin and sinners, and decline them with the utmost care imaginable. “The way of evil men may seem a pleasant way and sociable, and the nearest way to the compassing of some secular end we may have in view; but it is an evil way, and will end ill, and therefore if thou love thy God and thy soul avoid it, pass not by it, that thou mayest not be tempted to enter into it; and, if thou find thyself near it, turn from it and pass away, and get as far off it as thou canst.” The manner of expression intimates the imminent danger we are in, the need we have of this caution, and the great importance of it, and that our watchmen are, or should be, in good earnest, in giving us warning. It intimates likewise at what a distance we should keep from sin and sinners; he does not say, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance, the further the better; never think you can get far enough from it. Escape for thy life: look not behind thee.

Take hold of instruction | P4-V13

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:13

I die daily devotional.

12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil men.


Having put forth the effort to understand instruction in order to take hold of it, am inspired through that discipline … and grow in discovery of my Father in Heaven. To take hold of instruction is to experience the discipline of the Spirit; the invisible nature of God my Father is right here in my presence—the Holy Spirit—and my conscience is affected by the sight of an objective observer. Jesus Christ is the objective observer according to my belief through faith in Him, and am, therefore, disciplined by the instruction of His Word, the gospel of righteousness.

As long as I do not let go of the instruction of wisdom that disciplines me, and guard her as my salvation depends on it, my life is preserved in Jesus Christ, for she is my life.

God our Father is giving us constant instruction by the discipline of His Word being present with us for fellowship between us and our Father through Jesus Christ.

The instruction I feel in constant contention with is coming in our next verse because my heart goes out to those that suffer in the path of wickedness by proceeding in the way of evil men. Evil men are those who’ve beguiled the vulnerable to suffer a fate of their demise, desperate for what they cannot have, and thus manage to succeed in society by playing their biggest hand known as—”royal victim”. These people will fault the devil and blame God in every circumstance that doesn’t appeal to their desired way of survival, rather than taking responsibility for what they know at heart is wrong!


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V13) Commentary
Some make David’s instructions to Solomon, which began v. 4, to continue to the end of the chapter; nay, some continue them to the end of the ninth chapter; but it is more probable that Solomon begins here again, if not sooner. In these verses, having exhorted us to walk in the paths of wisdom, he cautions us against the path of the wicked.

  • 1. We must take heed of the ways of sin and avoid them, every thing that looks like sin and leads to it.
  • 2. In order to this we must keep out of the ways of sinners, and have no fellowship with them. For fear of falling into wicked courses, we must shun wicked company.


When you walk or run | P4-V12

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:12

I die daily devotional.

11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.

13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.


It’s quite the privilege to have the ability to walk or run, or to even watch those abilities being performed before our eyes; it’s simple to miss, really; it’s out of mind. And I think we might take it for granted, not by intention of course, but as though we’ve forgotten how to be in awe of such complex work as the human being. Remember when we actually had to watch before we could learn, and then had to learn how to walk before we could run, and then to throw a bicycle in the mix… I mean, that’s pretty crazy; I’m just simply in awe of the significance to such abilities we have, made by the hands of God.

John 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father—the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future].

As I was thinking about what it means when you walk, so that your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble; the memory of truth comes to mind, how the Spirit of Truth will guide us into all the truth. Jesus comforted His disciples with this promise, the promise to send them a Helper as He was about to leave them to go to the Father who sent Him. Jesus knew and understood the purpose of His direction clearly, but what I notice is that His words speak of accomplishing an outcome that has yet to be undergone—or at least that’s the appearance, after all, this is Jesus we’re talking about, the gifter of eternal life, (“So what is time, really?”)—or so it seems, and not only that because the future will be disclosed to these apostles as well.

So by the looks of it, it almost seems counter productive to walk or run let alone do anything, but that’s not the case at all because we have a promise to walk in and run after. We have something so near and dear, a treasure that gifts us with an inheritance. I, much like a baby having the faintest idea about the world beyond myself, although smart enough, have only an idea that there is a New Jerusalem beyond my line of sight; a new heaven and earth where tears are wiped away, no more crying, no more pain. Streets of gold! What?! That’s exciting, but not near as exciting as being present with our God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son by the Holy Spirit who’ve organized such a place to fathom for unity one day… the Church.

I think I’ll go for a walk…


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V12) Commentary
[3.] It would be much for his own advantage: “If thou be wise and good, thou shalt be so for thyself.”

  • First, “It will be thy life, thy comfort, thy happiness; it is what thou canst not live without:” Keep my commandments and live, v. 4. That of our Saviour agrees with this, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, Mt. 19:17. It is upon pain of death, eternal death, and in prospect of life, eternal life, that we are required to be religious. “Receive wisdom’s sayings, and the years of thy life shall be many (v. 10), as many in this world as Infinite Wisdom sees fit, and in the other world thou shalt live that life the years of which shall never be numbered. Keep her therefore, whatever it cost thee, for she is thy life, v. 13. All thy satisfaction will be found in this;” and a soul without true wisdom and grace is really a dead soul.
  • Secondly, “It will be thy guard and guide, thy convoy and conductor, through all the dangers and difficulties of thy journey through this wilderness. Love wisdom, and cleave to her, and she shall preserve thee, she shall keep thee (v. 6) from sin, the worst of evils, the worst of enemies; she shall keep thee from hurting thyself, and then none else can hurt thee.” As we say, “Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee;” so, “Keep thy wisdom, and thy wisdom will keep thee.” It will keep us from straits and stumbling-blocks in the management of ourselves and our affairs, v. 12.
    • 1. That our steps be not straitened when we go, that we bring not ourselves into such straits as David was in, 2 Sa. 24:14. Those that make God’s word their rule shall walk at liberty, and be at ease in themselves.
    • 2. That our feet do not stumble when we run. If wise and good men be put upon sudden resolves, the certain rule of God’s word which they go by will keep them even then from stumbling upon any thing that may be pernicious. Integrity and uprightness will preserve us.

I have directed and led you with wisdom in upright paths | P4-V11

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:11

I die daily devotional.

10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.

12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.


As I consider the meaning of an idea, an idea about direction, a direction that is not in the way of wisdom; what that might look like. I think of those who’ve yet to hear this good news of wisdom, to understand the upright paths of eternal life … what about them? Are they directed in the way of wisdom, and led in upright paths?

How could the gospel come to someone like me, and inspire me with hope for salvation from the path of the evil one leading me to destruction? A path I seem all too familiar with, a direction ever present in the way of cunning.

Romans 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness [who did not seek salvation and a right relationship with God, nevertheless] obtained righteousness, that is, the righteousness which is produced by faith; 31 whereas Israel, [though always] pursuing the law of righteousness, did not succeed in fulfilling the law. 32 And why not? Because it was not by faith [that they pursued it], but as though it were by works [relying on the merit of their works instead of their faith]. They stumbled over the stumbling Stone [Jesus Christ]. 33 As it is written and forever remains written, “Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense; And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].” 

Wisdom explains the justice of God through faith, that even those who’ve walked and are walking in faith yet to hear about the person of the Messiah, the Son of God—Jesus Christ—are counted as righteous, having obtained righteousness through faith although ignorant about the law. It is these people—once hearing the gospel for the first time—will act like new born babies sensing the closeness of the teat until finally latching on for the pure milk of the Word.

And so the way of error, not recognized by those who’ve yet to hear, but those who’ve heard and make effort in obedience to the law, that succumb to a direction of disobedience by their willful blindness to faith. As long as the evil one has convinced those that it’s by obedience to the law for salvation, death reigns with condemnation for the soul directed on the “upright” path.

Jesus has directed us in the way of wisdom, and the Spirit testifies, I have directed you in the way of wisdom. Jesus has led us in upright paths, and the Spirit testifies again, I have led you in upright paths. There is no excuse for anyone dead or alive, the Spirit of the gospel affirms the nature of faith so as to be saved. To reject and deny the Word of God upon your hearing is instead to accept the judgement according to your unbelief, affirmed by the faith of Christ you’ve stumbled over, the revelation of your soul condemned in the direction of sin in the path of the wicked.

Repent.

2 Peter 2:11 whereas even angels who are superior in might and power do not bring a reviling (defaming) accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these [false teachers], like unreasoning animals, [mere] creatures of instinct, born to be captured and destroyed, reviling things they do not understand, will also perish in their own corruption [in their destroying they will be destroyed], 13 suffering wrong [destined for punishment] as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a delight to revel in the daytime [living luxuriously]. They are stains and blemishes [on mankind], reveling in their deceptions even as they feast with you.

2 Peter 3:8 Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish with a [mighty and thunderous] roar, and the [material] elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and the works that are on it will be burned up.

RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V11) Commentary
(2.) By way of motive and inducement thus to labour for wisdom, and submit to the guidance of it, consider,

  • [1.] It is the main matter, and that which ought to be the chief and continual care of every man in this life (v. 7): Wisdom is the principal thing; other things which we are solicitous to get and keep are nothing to it. It is the whole of man, Eccl. 12:13. It is that which recommends us to God, which beautifies the soul, which enables us to answer the end of our creation, to live to some good purpose in the world, and to get to heaven at last; and therefore it is the principal thing.
  • [2.] It has reason and equity on its side (v. 11): “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom, and so it will be found to be at last. I have led thee, not in the crooked ways of carnal policy, which does wrong under colour of wisdom, but in right paths, agreeable to the eternal rules and reasons of good and evil.” The rectitude of the divine nature appears in the rectitude of all the divine laws. Observe, David not only taught his son by good instructions, but led him both by a good example and by applying general instructions to particular cases; so that nothing was wanting on his part to make him wise.

The years of your life will be many | P4-V10

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:10

I die daily devotional.

“She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”
10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.

11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.


When I think of “Hear, my son,” I think of what God might be saying right now as opposed to searching elsewhere in the Bible for a verse that testifies of God speaking, such as…

Joshua 1:2 “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise [to take his place], cross over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.

My knowledge dissolves as my spirit moves through information, wondering what certain things mean as those things seem to indicate the inevitable outcome of hell?

Why that outcome?

As I process, “and accept my sayings,” the revelation of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, comes into view.

1 John 5:4 For everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world—our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God].

There is reason it’s instructed to accept the sayings of wisdom, it’s because we have the option not to, and that becomes evident in our behavior and tongue. Not all accept their gift of faith to believe in Jesus as the Son of God.

The consequence of such a lasting decision to reject the sayings of wisdom is ultimately… delusion. And a strong delusion at that. People will believe so strongly (as they already are) in the science of evolution, that into evolution they will go, turning into their primal instincts for survival, possessed by the biggest “lobster”—only, there won’t be an identity.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 and by unlimited seduction to evil and with all the deception of wickedness for those who are perishing, because they did not welcome the love of the truth [of the gospel] so as to be saved [they were spiritually blind, and rejected the truth that would have saved them]. 11 Because of this God will send upon them a misleading influence, [an activity of error and deception] so they will believe the lie, 12 in order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe the truth [about their sin, and the need for salvation through Christ], but instead  took pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we should and are [morally] obligated [as debtors] always to give thanks to God for you, believers beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through the sanctifying work of the Spirit [that sets you apart for God’s purpose] and by your faith in the truth [of God’s word that leads you to spiritual maturity].

However, to accept the sayings of wisdom is to have eternal life, “and the years of your life will be many.

John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true [supreme and sovereign] God, and [in the same manner know] Jesus [as the] Christ whom You have sent.

RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V10) Commentary
Some make David’s instructions to Solomon, which began v. 4, to continue to the end of the chapter; nay, some continue them to the end of the ninth chapter; but it is more probable that Solomon begins here again, if not sooner. In these verses, having exhorted us to walk in the paths of wisdom, he cautions us against the path of the wicked.

  • 1. We must take heed of the ways of sin and avoid them, every thing that looks like sin and leads to it.
  • 2. In order to this we must keep out of the ways of sinners, and have no fellowship with them. For fear of falling into wicked courses, we must shun wicked company.

She will place on your head a garland of grace | P4-V9

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:9 

I die daily devotional.

“Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
“She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.


Jesus reveals to us the garland of grace and crown of beauty by wisdom given through belief in Him.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V9) Commentary
This he insists on (v. 9): “She shall give to thy head an ornament of grace in this world, shall recommend thee both to God and man, and in the other world a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee, a crown that shall never totter, a crown of glory that shall never wither.” That is the true honour which attends religion. Nobilitas sola est atique unica virtus-Virtue is the only nobility! David having thus recommended wisdom to his son, no marvel that when God bade him ask what he would he prayed, Lord, give me a wise and an understanding heart. We should make it appear by our prayers how well we are taught.

Prize her | P4-V8

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:8 

I die daily devotional.

“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
“Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.

“She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”


1 Kings 3:10 It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. 13 I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. 14 If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.”

To prize her, wisdom—hmmm… I need to think about this more, how to articulate it, but—I think is experienced when implementing respect for the Lord. And she will exalt you.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

By respecting the justice of God and Jesus our Lord, is to behave in a way that cooperates in and with His will, His domain. It is by His divine power that has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence…

  2 Peter 1:4 …For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 

And so she will honor us if we embrace her. To embrace wisdom is to escape the corruption that is in the world by lust. How I’ve made sense of that—without the idea of “removing” myself—is by actively putting to death the conscious elements of my fleshly being so desiring the freedoms of this world encapsulated by lust. To make practice of this is by no means an easy discipline considering the unseen and seen temptations constantly present for tasting, but only amounts to apostacy by committing such adultery against wisdom.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V8) Commentary
[3.] It would be much for his own advantage: “If thou be wise and good, thou shalt be so for thyself.”

First, “It will be thy life, thy comfort, thy happiness; it is what thou canst not live without:” Keep my commandments and live, v. 4. That of our Saviour agrees with this, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, Mt. 19:17. It is upon pain of death, eternal death, and in prospect of life, eternal life, that we are required to be religious. “Receive wisdom’s sayings, and the years of thy life shall be many (v. 10), as many in this world as Infinite Wisdom sees fit, and in the other world thou shalt live that life the years of which shall never be numbered. Keep her therefore, whatever it cost thee, for she is thy life, v. 13. All thy satisfaction will be found in this;” and a soul without true wisdom and grace is really a dead soul.

Secondly, “It will be thy guard and guide, thy convoy and conductor, through all the dangers and difficulties of thy journey through this wilderness. Love wisdom, and cleave to her, and she shall preserve thee, she shall keep thee (v. 6) from sin, the worst of evils, the worst of enemies; she shall keep thee from hurting thyself, and then none else can hurt thee.” As we say, “Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee;” so, “Keep thy wisdom, and thy wisdom will keep thee.” It will keep us from straits and stumbling-blocks in the management of ourselves and our affairs, v. 12.

1. That our steps be not straitened when we go, that we bring not ourselves into such straits as David was in, 2 Sa. 24:14. Those that make God’s word their rule shall walk at liberty, and be at ease in themselves.

2. That our feet do not stumble when we run. If wise and good men be put upon sudden resolves, the certain rule of God’s word which they go by will keep them even then from stumbling upon any thing that may be pernicious. Integrity and uprightness will preserve us.

Thirdly, “It will be thy honour and reputation (v. 8): Exalt wisdom (do thou but show thy good-will to her advancement) and though she needs not thy service she will abundantly recompense it, she shall promote thee, she shall bring thee to honour.” Solomon was to be a king, but his wisdom and virtue would be more his honour than his crown or purple; it was that for which all his neighbours had him so much in veneration; and no doubt, in his reign and David’s, wise and good men stood fairest for preferment. However, religion will, first or last, bring all those to honour that cordially embrace her; they shall be accepted of God, respected by all wise men, owned in the great day, and shall inherit everlasting glory. This he insists on (v. 9): “She shall give to thy head an ornament of grace in this world, shall recommend thee both to God and man, and in the other world a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee, a crown that shall never totter, a crown of glory that shall never wither.” That is the true honour which attends religion. Nobilitas sola est atique unica virtus-Virtue is the only nobility! David having thus recommended wisdom to his son, no marvel that when God bade him ask what he would he prayed, Lord, give me a wise and an understanding heart. We should make it appear by our prayers how well we are taught.

The beginning of wisdom is | P4-V7

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:7 

I die daily devotional.

“Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

“Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.


From my experience, the acquiring of wisdom is of a meditative practice. When I pray to God and meditate on His Word meaning His Son, the conviction of the Holy Spirit inspires me to listen and hope for the next moment, minute, hour, and day, that will opportune my acquiring.

I’m learning that wisdom is not understood as wisdom until the opportunity to discover it as such, which is what each moment is permitting me to explore as I navigate through a world of knowledge. I have to trust that God as my Father will help me in my fall to understand what I’ve tripped on before proceeding or else I might fall again and again until I won’t get up or can’t get up.

So the beginning of wisdom is: acknowledge the sin of your character as the cause of stumbling over the stumbling stone. The stumbling stone is not the problem, the sin is the problem; the stumbling stone is Christ.

Romans 9:31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.

When we’ve acknowledged the sin of our character by reason of Adam, we’ve acquired wisdom, but what about getting the understanding? And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

To get understanding does not imply I sin in order to get that understanding, but rather, to learn the meaning of possessing the knowledge of good and evil by reason of Adam and Eve. To have the knowledge of good and evil does not come without the consequence of guilt innate by the sin of my condition (we’re obviously separated from eternal life by suffering in death) by which the Holy Spirit convicts my conscience for getting the understanding. So the Holy Spirit gives the getting of understanding, of which is of faith to comprehend.

So by acquiring wisdom and getting understanding, the reward is a place of intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ by faith here, but in reality, there, where God is present with us as our sustenance for eternal life promised in Jesus Christ at His Kingdom. As I grasp for the meaning of eternal life by faith here as reality there—where Christ is now—am then going to behave in a manner of faith by repenting from my sin that my flesh so desperately craves.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V7) Commentary
(2.) By way of motive and inducement thus to labour for wisdom, and submit to the guidance of it, consider,

  • [1.] It is the main matter, and that which ought to be the chief and continual care of every man in this life (v. 7): Wisdom is the principal thing; other things which we are solicitous to get and keep are nothing to it. It is the whole of man, Eccl. 12:13. It is that which recommends us to God, which beautifies the soul, which enables us to answer the end of our creation, to live to some good purpose in the world, and to get to heaven at last; and therefore it is the principal thing.
  • [2.] It has reason and equity on its side (v. 11): “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom, and so it will be found to be at last. I have led thee, not in the crooked ways of carnal policy, which does wrong under colour of wisdom, but in right paths, agreeable to the eternal rules and reasons of good and evil.” The rectitude of the divine nature appears in the rectitude of all the divine laws. Observe, David not only taught his son by good instructions, but led him both by a good example and by applying general instructions to particular cases; so that nothing was wanting on his part to make him wise.

Do not forsake her | P4-V6

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4:6

 I die daily devotional.

Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
“Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.

“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.


Do not forsake wisdom, she guards our understanding and watches over the salvation of our souls.

For me to acquire wisdom is to die—put to death my flesh—by the judgement due my sin cast upon Jesus Christ our Lord and Son of God.

God granted wisdom and understanding.

Psalms 9

But the Lord sits as King forever;
He has established His throne for judgment,
And He will judge the world in righteousness;
He will execute judgment for the peoples fairly.
The Lord will also be a stronghold for the oppressed,
A stronghold in times of trouble;
10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, Lord, have not abandoned those who seek You.

If we know Jesus Christ and put our trust in Him, He’s given His Word not to abandon us in our search for Him as we patiently wait upon His return, hoping for all to be saved.

To love wisdom is to hate sin.

Do you hate sin?


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V6) Commentary
Secondly, Forget her not (v. 5), forsake her not (v. 6), let her not go (v. 13), but keep her. Those that have got this wisdom must take heed of losing it again by returning to folly: it is indeed a good part, that shall not be taken from us; but then we must take heed lest we throw it from us, as those do that forget it first, and let it slip out of their minds, and then forsake it and turn out of its good ways. That good thing which is committed to us we must keep, and not let it drop, through carelessness, nor suffer it to be forced from us, nor suffer ourselves to be wheedled out of it; never let go such a jewel.

Thirdly, Love her (v. 6), and embrace her (v. 8), as worldly men love their wealth and set their hearts upon it. Religion should be very dear to us, dearer than any thing in this world; and, if we cannot reach to be great masters of wisdom, yet let us be true lovers of it; and what grace we have let us embrace it with a sincere affection, as those that admire its beauty.

Fourthly, “Exalt her, v. 8. Always keep up high thoughts of religion, and do all thou canst to bring it into reputation, and maintain the credit of it among men. Concur with God in his purpose, which is to magnify the law and make it honourable, and do what thou canst to serve that purpose.” Let Wisdom’s children not only justify her, but magnify her, and prefer her before that which is dearest to them in this world. In honouring those that fear the Lord, though they are low in the world, and in regarding a poor wise man, we exalt wisdom.

Acquire wisdom and understanding | P4-V5

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4; I die daily devotional.

Then he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live;
Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

“Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.


As I read over our verse and process what to make of it, there is an experience of change within my character difficult to describe because the nature of the change is subtle and abstract, having yet to manifest beyond my present.

As I think about what it means to acquire wisdom; the idea is quite paralyzing when hyperaware to the motion of things, the action of phenomena.

And then instructed to acquire understanding—seems humorous when fixed in awe by observing the action of things before applying what unique value I might possess to serve life from wisdom acquired—of which is suicidal.

I’m realizing how blind I truly am to any wise decision of action—struck dumb in speech by what is impossible to understand without God. At any moment my heart could give out, an asteroid hit my location, the building collapses on me, ground beneath me opens, or will the elements of nature require my marrow?

Every breath I take is faith to experience the meaning of wisdom and understanding to my being, this human vessel, that is only appreciated by complete stillness of action whilst transfixed by the words of my mouth. There is no amount of value that can pay back this faith used to exist and have life with love.

How absurd it would be to forget the words of wisdom and turn away from understanding.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V5) Commentary
2. What these instructions were, v. 4-13.

  • (1.) By way of precept and exhortation. David, in teaching his son, though he was a child of great capacity and quick apprehension, yet to show that he was in good earnest, and to affect his child the more with what he said, expressed himself with great warmth and importunity, and inculcated the same thing again and again. So children must be taught. Deu. 6:7Thou shalt whet them diligently upon thy children. David, though he was a man of public business, and had tutors for his son, took all this pains with him himself.
    • [1.] He recommends to him his Bible and his catechism, as the means, his father’s words (v. 4), the words of his mouth (v. 5), his sayings (v. 10), all the good lessons he had taught him; and perhaps he means particularly the book of Psalms, many of which were Maschils-psalms of instruction, and two of them are expressly said to be for Solomon. These, and all his other words, Solomon must have an eye to.
      • First, He must hear and receive them (v. 10), diligently attend to them, and imbibe them, as the earth drinks in the rain that comes often upon it, Heb. 6:7. God thus bespeaks our attention to his word: Hear, O my son! and receive my sayings.
      • Secondly, He must hold fast the form of sound words which his father gave him (v. 4): Let thy heart retain my words; and except the word be hid in the heart, lodged in the will and affections, it will not be retained.
      • Thirdly, He must govern himself by them: Keep my commandments, obey them, and that is the way to increase in the knowledge of them, Jn. 7:17.
      • Fourthly, He must stick to them and abide by them: “Decline not from the words of my mouth (v. 5), as fearing they will be too great a check upon thee, but take fast hold of instruction (v. 13), as being resolved to keep thy hold and never let it go.” Those that have a good education, though they strive to shake it off, will find it hang about them a great while, and, if it do not, their case is very sad.
    • [2.] He recommends to him wisdom and understanding as the end to be aimed at in the use of these means; that wisdom which is the principal wisdom, get that. Quod caput est sapientia eam acquire sapientiam-Be sure to mind that branch of wisdom which is the top branch of it, and that is the fear of God, ch. 1:7. Junius and Tremellius. A principle of religion in the heart is the one thing needful; therefore,
      • First, Get this wisdom, get this understanding, v. 5. And again, “Get wisdom, and with all thy getting, get understanding, v. 7. Pray for it, take pains for it, give diligence in the use of all appointed means to attain it. Wait at wisdom’s gate, Prov. 8:34. Get dominion over thy corruptions, which are thy follies: get possession of wise principles and the habits of wisdom. Get wisdom by experience, get it above all thy getting; be more in care and take more pains to get this than to get the wealth of this world; whatever thou forgettest, get this, reckon it a great achievement, and pursue it accordingly.” True wisdom is God’s gift, and yet we are here commanded to get it, because God gives it to those that labour for it; yet, after all, we must not say, Our might and the power of our hand have gotten us this wealth.

Then he taught me | P4-V4

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4; I die daily devotional.

When I was a son to my father,
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
Then he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live;

Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.


Death could not hold Jesus Christ captive, and that’s a serious claim proven as fact according to the testimony of the gospel (, Acts 2:24, Acts 3:15, Romans 5:17, Romans 8:13, Philippians 3:10, 2 Timothy 1:10, Revelation 1:18, ).

Acts 3:15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

So we can have confidence that Jesus lives and will always be alive forevermore. We can hold fast His words, keep His commandment and live because wisdom is teaching us how. Do you know how to let your heart hold fast the Word of God? Do you know how to keep the commandments of God and live?

For me—when I think about what it means to let my heart hold fast His words as well as keeping His commandments and live—the idea of perfection comes to mind as though attainable by effort, but what is “perfection”? I think the reader, if Christian, might object to this, but to be perfect would mean that the believer in Christ our Lord has become perfect through faith because only Jesus is perfect, and yet, there is only one Jesus Christ; so how can I—or anyone—hold fast, let alone keep, the meaning of perfection and live?

If I were to make the claim—that I hold fast Christ Jesus, and that I keep His commandments and live—what would be judged of me by the human mind?

I think the answer—considering that I’ve provoked people by this idea in the past—might be, “You, nor anyone, can be perfect; that would make you Christ.” And I mean, after all, I’ve sinned; so how can I hold fast the Word of God and keep His commandments? To do so would mean that I can be perfect. I believe the answer is in the faith of God supplied to human will.

Romans 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

God has allotted each of us a measure of faith, by which we are presently using as we continue to draw breath for our lives. And by this gift of grace through faith; I’m taught what it means to hold fast the words of wisdom and keeping the commandments; Jesus lives, and I believe in Jesus. So by using my God given faith to believe in Jesus, therein lies my perfection.

However, if I’m using my God given faith to behave contrary to belief in the gospel, then how can I not be perfectly condemned? I think that might be why faith is what pleases God.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

So by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, I let my heart hold fast His words while keeping His commandments and live. Matthew 5:48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V4) Commentary
II. The instructions he gives them. Observe,

1. How he came by these instructions; he had them from his parents, and teaches his children the same that they taught him, v. 3, 4. Observe,

(1.) His parents loved him, and therefore taught him: I was my father’s son. David had many sons, but Solomon was his son indeed, as Isaac is called (Gen. 17:19) and for the same reason, because on him the covenant was entailed. He was his father’s darling, above any of his children. God had a special kindness for Solomon (the prophet called him Jedidiah, because the Lord loved him, 2 Sa. 12:25), and for that reason David had a special kindness for him, for he was a man after God’s own heart. If parents may ever love one child better than another, it must not be till it plainly appears that God does so. He was tender, and only beloved, in the sight of his mother. Surely there was a manifest reason for making such a distinction when both the parents made it. Now we see how they showed their love; they catechised him, kept him to his book, and held him to a strict discipline. Though he was a prince, and heir-apparent to the crown, yet they did not let him live at large; nay, therefore they tutored him thus. And perhaps David was the more strict with Solomon in his education because he had seen the ill effects of an undue indulgence in Adonijah, whom he had not crossed in any thing (1 Ki. 1:6), as also in Absalom.

(2.) What his parents taught him he teaches others. Observe,

[1.] When Solomon was grown up he not only remembered, but took a pleasure in repeating, the good lessons his parents taught him when he was a child. He did not forget them, so deep were the impressions they made upon him. He was not ashamed of them, such a high value had he for them, nor did he look upon them as the childish things, the mean things, which, when he became a man, a king, he should put away, as a disparagement to him; much less did he repeat them: as some wicked children have done, to ridicule them, and make his companions merry with them, priding himself that he had got clear from grave lessons and restraints.

[2.] Though Solomon was a wise man himself, and divinely inspired, yet, when he was to teach wisdom, he did not think it below him to quote his father and to make use of his words. Those that would learn well, and teach well, in religion, must not affect new-found notions and new-coined phrases, so as to look with contempt upon the knowledge and language of their predecessors; if we must keep to the good old way, why should we scorn the good old words? Jer. 6:16.

[3.] Solomon, having been well educated by his parents, thought himself thereby obliged to give his children a good education, the same that his parents had given him; and this is one way in which we must requite our parents for the pains they took with us, even by showing piety at home, 1 Tim. 5:4. They taught us, not only that we might learn ourselves, but that we might teach our children, the good knowledge of God, Ps. 78:6. And we are false to a trust if we do not; for the sacred deposit of religious doctrine and law was lodged in our hands with a charge to transmit it pure and entire to those that shall come after us, 2 Tim. 2:2.

[4.] Solomon enforces his exhortations with the authority of his father David, a man famous in his generation upon all accounts. Be it taken notice of, to the honour of religion, that the wisest and best men in every age have been most zealous, not only for the practice of it themselves, but for the propagating of it to others; and we should therefore continue in the things which we have learned, knowing of whom we have learned them, 2 Tim. 3:14.

When I was a son to my father | P4-V3

A Father’s Instruction

Proverbs 4; I die daily devotional.

For I give you sound teaching;
Do not abandon my instruction.
When I was a son to my father,
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
Then he taught me and said to me,

“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live;


Jesus is the only begotten Son of God as testified in several places of Scripture (link). So as we read the verse—when I was a son to my father, tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, then he taught me and said to me—I think we can make sense of who is being addressed here, specifically. It is the essence and nature of God within the posterity (lineage) of Solomon manifested to be Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior of the world.

Now, speaking for myself, of course, by what I’ve observed in Scripture; Jesus was chosen since before the foundation of the world just as the bondservant and apostle Peter teaches us in his first letter; 1 Peter 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

And so the wisdom I receive through today’s devotional is that the Holy Spirit given me and all those who have the same faith, as promised, is the spiritual essence and nature of Jesus Christ within us to teach us about the truth.

A son to my fatherthe only son in the sight of my mother“—meaning the Holy Spirit within the line of Solomon as Jesus Christ the Son of God, is what I perceive to mean the spiritual experience of relationship between myself and God—that is reconciled through the body and blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.

So although I can have very human questions and doubts about the meaning of life; I can simultaneously experience a confidence that exists by faith in God’s promise of His Word that testifies of His will within me, that indeed, I am a son of His. No person of sin—of which Jesus is without—can judge against that sacred truth; that according to the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I am taught by the Spirit of God the resurrection from the dead and eternal life.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 4

Matthew Henry (P4-V3) Commentary
II. The instructions he gives them. Observe,

1. How he came by these instructions; he had them from his parents, and teaches his children the same that they taught him, v. 3, 4. Observe,

(1.) His parents loved him, and therefore taught him: I was my father’s son. David had many sons, but Solomon was his son indeed, as Isaac is called (Gen. 17:19) and for the same reason, because on him the covenant was entailed. He was his father’s darling, above any of his children. God had a special kindness for Solomon (the prophet called him Jedidiah, because the Lord loved him, 2 Sa. 12:25), and for that reason David had a special kindness for him, for he was a man after God’s own heart. If parents may ever love one child better than another, it must not be till it plainly appears that God does so. He was tender, and only beloved, in the sight of his mother. Surely there was a manifest reason for making such a distinction when both the parents made it. Now we see how they showed their love; they catechised him, kept him to his book, and held him to a strict discipline. Though he was a prince, and heir-apparent to the crown, yet they did not let him live at large; nay, therefore they tutored him thus. And perhaps David was the more strict with Solomon in his education because he had seen the ill effects of an undue indulgence in Adonijah, whom he had not crossed in any thing (1 Ki. 1:6), as also in Absalom.

(2.) What his parents taught him he teaches others. Observe,

[1.] When Solomon was grown up he not only remembered, but took a pleasure in repeating, the good lessons his parents taught him when he was a child. He did not forget them, so deep were the impressions they made upon him. He was not ashamed of them, such a high value had he for them, nor did he look upon them as the childish things, the mean things, which, when he became a man, a king, he should put away, as a disparagement to him; much less did he repeat them: as some wicked children have done, to ridicule them, and make his companions merry with them, priding himself that he had got clear from grave lessons and restraints.

[2.] Though Solomon was a wise man himself, and divinely inspired, yet, when he was to teach wisdom, he did not think it below him to quote his father and to make use of his words. Those that would learn well, and teach well, in religion, must not affect new-found notions and new-coined phrases, so as to look with contempt upon the knowledge and language of their predecessors; if we must keep to the good old way, why should we scorn the good old words? Jer. 6:16.

[3.] Solomon, having been well educated by his parents, thought himself thereby obliged to give his children a good education, the same that his parents had given him; and this is one way in which we must requite our parents for the pains they took with us, even by showing piety at home, 1 Tim. 5:4. They taught us, not only that we might learn ourselves, but that we might teach our children, the good knowledge of God, Ps. 78:6. And we are false to a trust if we do not; for the sacred deposit of religious doctrine and law was lodged in our hands with a charge to transmit it pure and entire to those that shall come after us, 2 Tim. 2:2.

[4.] Solomon enforces his exhortations with the authority of his father David, a man famous in his generation upon all accounts. Be it taken notice of, to the honour of religion, that the wisest and best men in every age have been most zealous, not only for the practice of it themselves, but for the propagating of it to others; and we should therefore continue in the things which we have learned, knowing of whom we have learned them, 2 Tim. 3:14.