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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.