June 4, 2015.
Daily Reading: Proverbs 4.
Background: Proverbs 2-3.
Concepts and Connections.
A father’s wisdom: Solomon reveals the purpose of his instruction in this chapter, emphasizing the importance of gaining wisdom and insight to his sons, just as his father and mother had taught him as a child. It is interesting to note that he talks about learning to value and seek out wisdom from a young age, as it gives some insight as to why he asked God for wisdom and understanding when the Lord came to him (see I Kings 3:1-5) instead of riches and honor. Solomon’s request was granted, and people would come from all around to hear him speak (see I Kings 4:29-34) as he spoke many proverbs, songs and insights about the world around him. Solomon’s main concern here, however, would seem to be that his sons listen to his wisdom and gain insight from it. This concern likely stems from the wisdom itself, as he seems to have somewhat of a bleak outlook on life under the son based on his writings in Ecclesiastes.
Here he speaks of the value of wisdom, and how she would keep the one who walks in her out of trouble. There is warning against having following the path of the wicked as it only leads to darkness, whereas wise words are life. There is an emphasis on the active pursuit and maintenance of wisdom, implying the effort that must be exerted to find and keep her. Thus, Solomon exerts his sons to be attentive to his words and keep them within their hearts. The wise will keep vigilance of their heart, as this is where evil intentions arise; sinful actions are usually just symptoms of a heart problem. With this in mind, it is important not to let any corrupting thing come in to our mind/heart, but rather cleanse and purify our thoughts and speech, keeping our eyes set directly forward. We must fight against distractions and straying to the left or right. We need focus and a level mind to pursue wisdom and understanding or order to apply it to our lives.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Jeremiah 47-52.