Proverbs 4 is a “speech” from a father to sons. As a teacher, I know that men/boys are more visual learners so this text is written so that the learner could picture Lady Wisdom and the blessings of holding on to her. “watch over you”, “protect you”, “give you a garland and a glorious crown”. However, the strongest imagery is the two paths.
Yesterday Solomon compared light verse dark. In 2020, we do not relate to that like people in Solomon’s time. Even if we are driving down an unlit county road we have headlights on our cars. If we are walking the dog on a New Moon night, we have our cellphone screen to see our feet. Solomon’s sons would understand the darkness. Now compound darkness with a crooked path.
Imagine sending your child into the night to find their way safely? Do you want them on a well lit-straight path? Or a dark crooked path? We know that on either path life will happen, trouble will be before us. But Wisdom selects our path. What’s the solution: Verse 7
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
How do we get wisdom? Proverbs 2:4 says:
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
Where do we begin? Proverbs 1:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
This just might be my new favorite chapter in the Bible. (I laugh because I say that in my head several times a week).
Take a minute (it is worth it). Think of the straight path and the crooked path. Can you picture them? Now click here and read the Proverb again.
Chapter 5 – talks about sexual immorality. Even though Wisdom is from God, it may come through a long experience of “not holding on to that Wisdom”. Solomon of all people would understand the seduction of another woman, it was his Achille’s heel after all. Chapter 5 is a Proverb of warning, not from a hypocrite, but from someone who experienced it.
We all have a “past” in something. If we repent from the past, and truly have God’s words in your heart, are walking on a straight path, God can give you wisdom.
Chapter 6-The title in my Bible says: Warning against Folly. Folly is foolish.
Verses 1-5 Solomon writes about being responsible with our resources. Taking on other’s debts-generosity verse good stewardship. I like to say “enabling others”. We think about the downside of enabling others, without GOd’s view of how that foolishness is an unwise decision in our own life.
Verses 6-11 talks about the Sluggard (Sounds like a word Willy Wonka would use). A sluggard is a lazy person. “I don’t have time for that” is a phrase I hear (or use myself). Just because we are busy doesn’t mean we aren’t a sluggard. What are we busy with? What are we lazy with? I don’t mind being transparent: Am I busy on things that are not important to God? Am I a sluggard towards things that are important to God?
Verses 12-15 – One verse stood out for me more than the rest:
who plots evil with deceit in his heart—
he always stirs up conflict.
In my head, I read it as a “pot stirrer”. As much as I would like to point the finger at others, or people’s posts on Facebook, or watching the news, politicians, or riots at protest (George Floyd), I have to self reflect. God is talking to each of us about (verse 12)-a corrupt mouth-pot stirring. Self-reflect if you are really seeking Wisdom.
Verses 16-19- other practices of foolishness- attitude, thoughts, speech, actions, and influence.
There are 6 things the Lord hates and 1 is detestable. STOP everything and meditate on these for the day. If the Lord hates it we need to pray that we will hate it too.
Notice the sequence analyzes our bodies from the head down to our toes in the first 5, then the last 2 are the actions:
16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
- Haughty Eyes (arrogance and pride)
- Lying Tongue
- Hands that shed innocent blood
- A heart that devises wicked schemes (does not say they are carried out…ever think of them though)
- Feet that are quick to rush into evil
- A false witness who pours out lies (Gossip)
- A man who stirs up dissension among brothers (pot stirrer)
If Wisdom is the woman God gives you to hold onto, the wayward woman would be the woman the world tells you to hold on to.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
The world will do that, so go back to Proverbs 4:4
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.