Proverbs 4 Commentary

Wisdom the inner guide (4:1-27)

The writer further instructs his ‘sons’ by passing on teaching that his own ‘father’ once gave him.

The main point of that teaching was that, more than anything else, he was to get wisdom and insight (4:1- 5). The first step in getting wisdom is the desire for it. Once obtained, wisdom will bring into the life of the possessor a new measure of security, honour and beauty (6-9).

By living according to God’s wisdom, people will have true freedom, and at the same time will be morally upright (10-13). They will not join in the evil deeds of those whose thoughts and actions are governed by the desire to do wrong (14-17). The more people do right, the better they understand life; the more they do wrong, the more confused their understanding becomes. Consequently, their mistakes become more frequent and more disastrous (18-19).

In addition to reminding themselves constantly of the instruction they have received, the disciples must keep their heart and mind, their whole inner person, in a state of moral and spiritual good health (20- 23). Since the tongue and eyes can easily lead to wrongdoing, a person must control them through developing and maintaining right thinking and right attitudes (24-27).

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