The fourth chapter of proverbs continues Solomon's instructions about the importance of wisdom and of the relationship of the heart, or the inner being, to wisdom and to life in general. This chapter also speaks to the merits of following God's lighted path.
When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. (v3-4)
I love the imagery as this proverb begins.. the picture of a father teaching his son.. impressing on him the value of inner heart learning and how spiritual life comes from obedience.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. (v7)
I love the straightforwardness of this verse.. if you want wisdom then do everything you can do to get it. This captures the heart of the seventh verse of Proverbs 1 that teaches that wisdom begins when we fear the Lord.. it is an issue of priorities.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. (v18-19)
These verses follow several other verses listing the perils of following wickedness and evil. Walking in the light is sometimes painful but I find it to be a benefit when I lay my head on the pillow at night with a clear conscience.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (v23)
Oh my.. what a verse.. maybe the most important thing we can do is to nurture and strengthen our heart. I think we err greatly when we violate the instructions of our heart because each time we do we allow our flesh to overrule our heart and suppress those rivers of living waters that Jesus told us about (John 7:38).
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. (v25-27)
Jesus spoke of our eyes as the lamp of our body.. I heard it said once that we become what we look at.. important lesson.. if you want stay out of one of those nasty ditches :)
If you liked this post then please click here to catch some of my other ponderings on the book of Proverbs.