We will begin this lesson in Proverbs 4:1 "Hear, ye children, the
instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding." Proverbs
4:2 "For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law." Proverbs
4:3 "For I was my father's son, tender and only [beloved] in the sight
of my mother."

    This message that Solomon penned undoubtedly is not only written
by him to all young men for instruction, but is also what David had
taught Solomon, as well. Sometimes in the Proverbs, it seems as if we
are covering the same ground all over again. Whether this is to drive
home a lesson, or whether we are picking up extra fragments of truth
and that is the reason for repetition is not clear. As we said in
previous lessons, wisdom is the subject. We see here, also, that a
doctrine (belief) has been established. Instructions in God's law came
from father to son in these times. It was very important not to leave
out even minor details in that law. We are told again here to remember
in detail the law of God and to live by it (do not forsake it).  In
fact, to make it our doctrine (way of life), as well.  Solomon gets a
little sentimental here speaking of his mother.  Bathsheba had lost
her first son by David, and truly Solomon was her only beloved at that

    Proverbs 4:4 "He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart
retain my words: keep my commandments, and live."

    There is much written in Chronicles and Kings about Solomon.
David even gives Solomon detailed information about the temple to be
built in Jerusalem. You may read more about all of this in those
respective books. The point I am trying to make here, about this, is
that Solomon was instructed of David; and Solomon is now conveying to
us how important it is to keep the commandments. The promise is life
and life everlasting, at that.

    Proverbs 4:5 "Get wisdom, get understanding: forget [it] not;
neither decline from the words of my mouth." Proverbs 4:6 "Forsake her
not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee."
Proverbs 4:7 "Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [therefore] get wisdom:
and with all thy getting get understanding."

    Solomon, as you can see here, thought that wisdom was the most
important thing to have. Worldly wisdom is not what Solomon had in
mind, here. Solomon, being taught of David and being gifted with the
gift of wisdom which God had given him, realized that wisdom and
knowledge of the things of God should bring a person even closer to
God; and therefore, keep him from failure. He speaks of wisdom as if
it is a person. Wisdom is spirit.

    Proverbs 4:8 "Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall
bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her."

    Wisdom does bring honour instead of shame. A foolish son or
daughter brings shame to their parents, but children filled with godly
wisdom bring honour to their parents.

    Proverbs 4:9 "She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a
crown of glory shall she deliver to thee." Proverbs 4:10 "Hear, O my
son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many."

    Crowns of glory have to do with heavenly rewards. The Lord Jesus
earned our crowns of glory for us, but we would have to be wise enough
to receive Him to obtain those crowns. Verse ten, here, has to do with
honoring father and mother that thy days may be long upon the earth.

    Proverbs 4:11 "I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led
thee in right paths." Proverbs 4:12 "When thou goest, thy steps shall
not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble."

    We see, again, that some of this has come to Solomon from David.
David walked uprightly before the Lord. Even the name "David" means
beloved of God. God directed David's walk. David taught his son; and
now Solomon is saying to all who read this book of Proverbs, hear and
understand. Pray for wisdom of God and walk in that wisdom, and you
shall not stumble and fall. You can run the race well and not stumble
along the way as long as the wisdom of God directs you.

    Proverbs 4:13 "Take fast hold of instruction; let [her] not go:
keep her; for she [is] thy life."

    When we stop learning, we are dead.  There is always something
else to learn.  We read in II Timothy 3:16 the type of instruction
that is the most profitable to man.  II Timothy 3:16 "All scripture
[is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
II Timothy 3:17 "That the man of God may be perfect, throughly
furnished unto all good works."

    Proverbs 4:14  "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not
in the way of evil [men]."  Proverbs 4:15 "Avoid it, pass not by it,
turn from it, and pass away."

    The wicked are following a wide path that leads to destruction,
but the people of the Lord have chosen to walk the narrow path. The
way the Lord has provided for us leads us to everlasting life.
Matthew 7:13 -14 tell of the path we must choose. We must turn from
the path of sin, in fact, don't even get on the path the world takes
in the first place. Choose God's way. Matthew 7:13 "Enter ye in at the
strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that
leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:"
Matthew 7:14  "Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

    Proverbs 4:16 "For they sleep not, except they have done mischief;
and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause [some] to fall."
Proverbs 4:17 "For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the
wine of violence."

    We see in these 2 verses a person who has chosen a sinful way of
life. They are not satisfied to ruin their own lives but are trying to
drag others into their sin. Misery loves company. Isn't it strange
that many violent crimes seem to be committed by gangs. These people,
in the verses above, do not hold down a regular job and eat from that.
They commit crimes against others and live by that. They eventually
wind up in jail or worse, and then do not have anything to look
forward to for all of eternity.

    Proverbs 4:18 "But the path of the just [is] as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."

    This is in total contrast. Those who are justified because they
have made a decision to walk in the path of righteousness are walking
in the Light as He is in the Light. That perfect day is the day when
all these struggles of this life are over, and we can be in the
presence of the Light for that eternal day.

    Proverbs 4:19 "The way of the wicked [is] as darkness: they know
not at what they stumble."

    The wicked in darkness cannot and will not repent and come to the
light. We see, as we read in St. John, the Light shineth in darkness
and the darkness comprehended it not.

    Proverbs 4:20  "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto
my sayings." Proverbs 4:21 "Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep
them in the midst of thine heart." Proverbs 4:22 "For they [are] life
unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh."

    How many times have we told our children over and over, please
listen and heed the message. Don't get out in the world and forget
what I have been saying. Don't stop looking at the messages in front
of your eyes. Hide the things I have said down deep in your heart, and
don't let the cares of the world make you forget. They are life and
health to you. Every parent has said things similar to these to their
children, and we have all heard them say: "You have told me over and
over, now I won't forget. It isn't necessary to say it anymore".

    Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it
[are] the issues of life." Proverbs 4:24 "Put away from thee a froward
mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee."

    The heart is the very center of our being. We can either have a
pure heart or it can be desperately wicked. It will be one or the
other. God will judge our heart. The heart controls the moral
structure of our lives. A pure heart brings pure words. Froward mouths
and perverse (evil) words come from an evil heart. Out of the
abundance of our heart our mouth speaketh. It speaks life or death.

    Proverbs 4:25 "Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids
look straight before thee."

    I have always said that our eyes reveal what is inside of us.
They are little windows that you may look into the soul. Shifty eyes
that cannot look at you, ordinarily indicate the person has something
they are covering up.  Eyes that look straight at you say, "I am
telling the truth".  Wandering eyes of any kind can bring heartache.

    Proverbs 4:26 "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways
be established." Proverbs 4:27 "Turn not to the right hand nor to the
left: remove thy foot from evil."

    In verse 26, the word "ponder" means think about the path you are
launching out on. Make sure that the path you are heading out on leads
to righteousness. Don't despair of the path you have chosen. Make your
path straight. Things of the world must not attract you off of this
path. Stay on the straight path that will lead you to heaven.

                         Proverbs 5 Questions

1.  In verse 2, we read to forsake not the law for it is good ------
2.  Solomon describes himself as what to his mother?
3.  Besides Solomon giving us these instructions, what can we assume
    they are?
4.  What is the subject of the Proverbs?
5.  What is a doctrine?
6.  How did the law of commandments not get lost?
7.  Who was Solomon 's mother?
8.  In verse 4, we read keep my commandments and ----------.
9.  What are 2 more Old Testament books that speak much about Solomon?
10. What did Solomon say was the principal thing?
11. Wisdom and knowledge of God can do what for a person?
12. If sin brings shame, what brings honor?
13. What do crowns of glory have to do with?
14. David means what?
15. What good could be said of David?
16. If the wisdom of God directs your path, you will not ------- and
17. What kind of instruction is most important to man?
18. Where does Scripture come from?
19. What path must we avoid at all cost?
20. What is the difference in the path of the world and the path of
    the believer?
21. The evil eat of the bread of -------.
22. What is the path of the just compared to?
23. Out of what are the issues of life?
24. In verse 24, what is to be put away?
25. How are we to keep our eyes?
26. Shifting eyes usually indicate what?
27. What does the author think reveals what is inside of us?
28. Eyes that look straight at you, usually are saying what?
29. Ponder means what?