Proverbs 4 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Solomon speaks of a parent’s great responsibility in teaching their children to pursue wisdom. He shares of how even his own father David had conversations with him about seeking God to be the most important decision he would ever make, which is wildly fascinating to me. I love the image of David instructing Solomon at a ‘tender’ age, so he writes, of such things and encouraging him to pursue wisdom. What a beautiful picture.
Within these thoughts he writes of the importance of the father investing such direction, leading by example and encouraging his children to turn to Him for all things. Yet, even as we know with the juggling of life and the things that are fleeting, it takes a determination to pursue and go after it; even if we’ve had such instruction.
No matter how difficult our life may be, how tempted we are to set aside this endless pursuit of discernment and to become wise in God, it must be a lifetime stepping toward. There are always new things to discover of God, new ways He’s moving that invites us to change and hard stances at times He requires for us to take. We never arrive and must never give up the search. The pursuit of wisdom is a daily thing.
The heart or as is it’s referred to in so many literary works is where our feelings reign. It is the seat of our love, wants and desires. And so speaking in the literary form, our hearts are where our longings take precedent and many times dictate how we respond and live. In verse 23 Solomon warns and instructs for us to diligently watch over our hearts for it is where life springs.
Part of the practical aspect of this is making sure the path we follow is not from our heart but from God directing. We need to make sure our desires push us in the right direction, not the wrong; we need to put guard rails up on our desires so we don’t go after the wrong things.
The reminder is we must daily pursue the wisdom and discernment God has. We are faced with so many choices and decisions even from moment to moment. We desperately need to be pursuing God for His wisdom even in the things we’re not aware of or before they bring a fork in the road for a decision. Guard your heart. Put up the rails so you don’t wander.
Proverbs 4 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
As a kid, I remember going down to the beaches of Florida for our family vacations. One particular trip, we were vacationing along with extended family. My cousin and I decided right when we arrived that we would immediately hit the beach and begin walking down the coast. As soon as we had put our suitcases in the room, we were off.
We walked for miles, taking in the many sights and sounds of the ocean. We talked as we looked side to side at the seagulls, the seashells and the people enjoying time together in the sun. After what seemed like only a few minutes, my skin began to feel hot. Our pale white Indiana skin was getting scorched. We turned to look back at how far we had come and we realized we couldn’t even see our condo! Needless to say, by the time we made it back, we were lobsters. The many sights and sounds on the path we were walking had kept us distracted from the distance we had traveled.
“Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. 26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. 27 Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.”Proverbs 4:25-27 HCSB
The life of a believer is not characterized by wandering aimlessly. Look at the instruction. We are encouraged to fix our eyes forward. The path of Christ has goals and checkpoints. Though it is a constant pursuit, we do not take our eyes off of Him. We may stumble or get momentarily distracted, but our gaze must return straight ahead to the calling of Jesus.
Carefully consider the path you are on. This is a call for self-awareness. How far have you traveled and where are you headed? The path metaphor is understood in terms of our daily decision making. Maybe we don’t think in those terms? The decisions you make today will take you down a path. They will take your family and others who are following you down that same path.
When we let our feet and eyes draw us away from the path God has established, we are walking in foolishness. Wisdom is taking into consideration where we are headed in life and who we are focused on during that journey.