Proverbs 4

Listen to Proverbs 4
1 My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment,
2 for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions.
3 For I, too, was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.
4 My father taught me, “Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.
7 Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
8 If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
10 My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life.
11 I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths.
12 When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble.
13 Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.
14 Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers.
15 Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving.
16 For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble.
17 They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence!
18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.
20 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
24 Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

Proverbs 4 Commentary

Chapter 4

Exhortation to the study of wisdom. (1-13) Cautions against bad company, Exhortation to faith and holiness. (14-27)

Verses 1-13 We must look upon our teachers as our fathers: though instruction carry in it reproof and correction, bid it welcome. Solomon's parents loved him, therefore taught him. Wise and godly men, in every age of the world, and rank in society, agree that true wisdom consists in obedience, and is united to happiness. Get wisdom, take pains for it. Get the rule over thy corruptions; take more pains to get this than the wealth of this world. An interest in Christ's salvation is necessary. This wisdom is the one thing needful. A soul without true wisdom and grace is a dead soul. How poor, contemptible, and wretched are those, who, with all their wealth and power, die without getting understanding, without Christ, without hope, and without God! Let us give heed to the sayings of Him who has the words of eternal life. Thus our path will be plain before us: by taking, and keeping fast hold of instruction, we shall avoid being straitened or stumbling.

Verses 14-27 The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing 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. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 4

In this chapter Solomon advises to seek after wisdom, to avoid bad company, and to continue in the right paths of goodness and truth: he excites attention to what he had to say, from the relation he stood in to the persons addressed; from the nature of his instructions, which were good and profitable; and from his own example, in attending to those his parents gave him, Pr 4:1-4; He exhorts above all things to get wisdom, from the superior excellency of it, and from the preservation, promotion, and honour, to be had by it, Pr 4:5-9; and he further enforces big exhortations, from their being the means of a comfortable life, and of the prolongation of it, and of leading in a right way without straitness or stumbling, Pr 4:10-13. And then proceeds to caution against bad company, and going into a bad way of life; which is enforced from the mischief done by those that walk in it, and from the darkness of it, to which the path of the just is opposed, Pr 4:14-19. And the exhortation to attend to and observe his instructions, and keep them, is repeated, from the consideration of their being life and health to them, Pr 4:20-22; and that they might be preserved, and not departed from, direction's are given about ordering the heart, mouth, lips, eyes, and feet, Pr 4:23-27.

Proverbs 4 Commentaries