Proverbs 4 – The Beginning of Wisdom

Obamas State of the UnionOne of the great tragedies of our day is the breakdown of marriage, home and family. In his recent State of the Union address the president argued for “equity marriage,” echoing the sentiment of liberal politicians and media who decry the definition of traditional marriage, as ordained by God –“one man and one woman” (Genesis 2:20-24).  The unrelenting attack on the definition of marriage and the prevalence of open fornication and adultery in society has eroded marriage to the point of irrelevancy!

What hope is there for a nation when the nuclear family consisting of a committed father and mother, is approaching extinction? What future is there for children when they are born in homes where no father bears the yoke of responsibility to teach his sons to be men or his daughters to cherish purity and the sanctity of marriage?

Proverbs 4 opens with Solomon instructing not only his son, but also all sons.  Like a father, the king called young men to hear his counsel as they would a loving father.  Solomon then imparts to the young men of his realm the instructions he received as a boy from his father, King David (4:3-6).

KingDavid_web_smProverbs 4:4-6He taught [lit. – “law”; perhaps “laid down the law”] me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain [lay hold on; follow] my words: keep my commandments, and live. 5 Get  [acquire; procure] wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her [wisdom] not, and she shall preserve [guard; watch over; protect] thee: love her [wisdom], and she shall keep thee.”

David was not a perfect man or father (something true of us all); however, he was a man who loved God, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). David knew all too well the consequences of sin and exhorted his son to not follow the same path.  He exhorted his son to know the Law of God and retain his father’s instructions in his heart (Proverbs 4:4).  The priority of pursuing wisdom and understanding was David’s passion for Solomon (4:5).

The acquisition of godly wisdom begins with a right relationship with God. Every child knows that a strained relationship with parents and other authorities closes their heart to instruction. The same is true regarding godly wisdom–lost sinners have no appetite for the Word or the Law of God (Romans 1:20-22, 28; 3:10-11, 19-20).

Salvation is fundamental: Believing there is a God who has communicated His Person and will to man through His Word and Law; that man has sinned and violated God’s moral judicial law.  But God has provided a Redeemer Whose substitutionary sacrifice of Himself on the cross offers atonement to all who confess they are sinners and accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ as Savior. Consider the following verses:

Christ on the CrossIsaiah 53:4-6 Surely He [Christ] hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him [Christ] stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him [Christ] the iniquity of us all.”

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth [demonstrated] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

My friend, you cannot “get wisdom, get understanding” (4:5) until your heart has settled the most fundamental question of life—salvation.

1) Do you confess you are a sinner?

2) Do you believe Jesus Christ is the Son God?  Do you believe He died for your sins, was buried and rose from the grave?

3) Will you accept that salvation, the forgiveness of sin, is not something you merit ManPraying1by good works (church membership, baptism, communion)?  Salvation is God’s free gift to those who believe Jesus Christ paid the penalty of their sin by His death on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Salvation is the pillar upon which godly wisdom rests.  Wisdom begins here– believing and receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, I invite you to do that now. If you made that decision, it would be my joy and privilege to encourage you with additional discipleship material. Please email our ministry at: info@hillsdalebaptist.org.