Proverbs 4

In chapter four it seems to me that Solomon provides instruction and warning in a balanced way.  He includes both Do’s  and Don’ts, an effective method in my opinion.

When I was a son to my father, … he taught me and said to me   (v4)

Solomon – the wisest man ever –  taught.  By King David.   I know how difficult it can be to remain teachable.  I wonder how hard it was for a man like King Solomon?

For me to learn from someone I need to know there is potential gain, the educational  WIIFM  (What’s In It For Me?)

Here is Solomon’s WIIFM from verses 6 – 12:

  1. She will guard you (v6)
  2. She will watch over you
  3. She will exalt you (v8)
  4. She will honor you
  5. She will place on you a garland of grace (v9)
  6. She will present you with a crown of beauty.
  7. The years of your life will be many. (v10)
  8. Your steps will not be impeded (v12)
  9. You will not stumble

And the “Don’ts”:

  1. Do not abandon my instruction
  2. Do not forget
  3. Do not turn away from the words of my mouth
  4. Do not forsake wisdom
  5. Do not enter the path of the wicked
  6. Do not proceed in the way of evil men.
  7. Do not let them (his sayings) depart from your sight.
  8. Do not turn to the right or left

“The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble” (v19)

I’ve tripped over things in the dark, it feels like whatever it was “comes out of nowhere”.  There’s no way to prepare.  The pain is real.  It takes a little while to figure out what in the world happened when you come-to.   The way of the wicked is like that.  Well-said, Solomon.

I’m especially touched by the end of the chapter today:

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (v23)

Someone once said:  Put all your eggs in one basket  … and WATCH THAT  BASKET!

Put away from you a decietful mouth, and put devious lips far from you. (v24)

Lord, protect me from even the subtle deceit of needing to make a good impression all the time, of not saying the last 10%, of being almost authentic.

Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. (v25)

Lord, I want to apply this to

  • the things I know God wants for our ministry,
  • to my earnest desire to more-than-make-up for times I’ve disappointed my Heavenly Father,
  • to my integrity and authenticity
  • to my mission in life.

Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established. (v26)

Pay attention to where today will lead, as it relates to the above, and it will set the course of action.

Do not turn to the right hand nor to the left; turn your foot from evil. (v27)

One word:   Resolve.

Mine.   Because I’m the only person I can account for.   But I will.   I need Solomon’s wisdom.  I need what’s in it for me.


[ on to chapter 5 ]

4 Replies to “Proverbs 4”

  1. Rebecca Yu-the Fish

    hello Phil, tomorrow i will finish proverb 3 but also i’ll have to catch up with yall.
    i usually don’t have time at weekends,spending time with my husband.
    but thank you for stopping by. visit any time.
    God bless you always

  2. diana


    your notes on this chapter are like reading through a topic deeply and then making index cards and keeping them on you so you will remember just by glancing what you have read and soaked in. I find it so useful going over your notes after reading this chapter. Your chart for Proverbs 3 btw was so great, really creative and a single index card to hold all the major points.. 🙂 have you ever been a classroom teacher? lol

    Btw, I really like the little quotes you put in your posts and comments. And I’m glad your everyone came back safely from the blizzard yesterday 🙂 God is good!


  3. Phil

    Hi Diana,

    I’m glad you’re enjoying – one of the things I like best about the Christian life is that we can encourage and bless each other En Route — on the way!

    I’ve a fair amount of experience as a classroom teacher and communicator. Hopefully the Lord will open the door to my helping churches with discipling in the worship and arts venue (being patient is the hard-part).

    Help yourself to the quotes, they’re a great way to encapsulate and summarize truths we want to remember.


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