PROVERBS 4
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1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

Wisdom is something we do not naturally possess - something we must have for salvation. Something we can never naturally possess.

Wisdom is divine education, spiritual training, the learning, absorbing and practicing of eternal truth. It is a full-time occupation, a life-time job.

Wisdom is spiritual-mindedness. In his beautiful discourse on divine wisdom at the beginning of 1st Corinthians, Paul says-

"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

"But he that is spiritual discerneth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man" (1 Cor. 2:14-15).

Wisdom is knowing and doing that which is for the best-living in harmony with eternal facts. The Bible says all others are fools.

Wisdom is wanting to stand right out in the bright light of the Spirit's revelation and thoroughly examine ourselves - within and without - by it; then striving to eliminate all that is out of harmony with God, and develop what pleases Him.

Wisdom is the examining of every act and activity and asking, has this any eternal value? Does it help in the way of life? Could I be doing something more profitable, more spiritually beneficial, more pleasing to God? Something that would bring me into closer relationship to God? Something more mature, less juvenile?

The Scriptures continually contrast wisdom with folly, saying that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.

There are many scriptural words translated "fool" and "folly," indicating different aspects of foolishness. The original meanings are; perverse, wilful, boaster, self-confident, empty, senseless, thoughtless, unwise, witless, dull.

The Scriptures apply all these terms to those who do not have the wisdom to walk in the narrow way that leads to life - the spiritually enlightened way of wisdom - those who do not strive to bring every thought into captivity to Christ.

The principal word for "fool" in the Old Testament is keseel - self-confident, relying on self.

Self-confidence, self-dependence, self-reliance, relying upon and being guided and motivated by natural thinking - considered maturity and wisdom by the world - is really the mark of the fool.

Bro Growcott - But Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?




5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

Brethren, this is what we are busy doing. We are here for no other reason than that we desire to attend to the Word of God and to keep fast hold of His instruction. In doing this, we are doing the most foolish thing under the sun in the estimation of our neighbours. There is nothing less to the popular taste than what has been said in commandment and promise; but if we are wise we will not be deterred by the popular distaste.

The world chooses that which there is no substance in. Destruction and misery are in their ways. We will rather choose what Mary chose, which Jesus describes as "that good part which shall not be taken away"-a part which has just the reverse ending to the part of ungodly men; not the destruction and misery, but salvation and joy.

Even now, it is the highest satisfaction attainable to mortals on earth, the answer of a good conscience, the confidence of God's friendship and the hope of good things to come. As the darkness of life increases, the hope of the gospel grows brighter. It is ahead of our path like a great light illuminating the horizon, increasing in brightness as we draw nearer to it.

Even now, godliness is the best portion for men; but what shall we say about "then" when we have done with this vain life, and when we have placed our feet on the threshold of eternal day? Our poor minds fail to conceive the glory which God hath prepared for them that love Him. It is our wisdom then to cling closely to the words addressed to us in the Proverbs,

"They are life unto those that find them and health to all their flesh."

Bro Roberts - Through the windows of the word


7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Do we fully realize this is addressed to us? -- that WE are the ones in urgent need of making the pursuit of life-giving divine wisdom the single concern of our lives?

It is so easy to read all this over and over without ever perceiving its present, direct, and pressing bearing upon OURSELVES. Unless we awake, and make the personal application, all these beautiful, divine words will do nothing for us except to condemn us.

In our natural state we have NO wisdom. In our natural state we are silly, shallow, fleshly, and foolish, like all the rest of mankind, and we STAY that way unless God's Word changes us. God has no use for such. "God hath no pleasure in fools."

Therefore, the Proverbs make repeated, intense efforts to get us to realize the urgency of these things -- to realize that we have no time to waste, that we must put aside all else and devote ourselves to God's Word and work, that there is no hope or promise for any who neglect this or get sidetracked into the meaningless things of this life.

Bro Growcott 'She openeth her mouth with wisdom'.


14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

A striking comparison of ways is presented to us in this fourth chapter of the Proverbs. The one as the ever-increasing light that gradually opens out to the fulness of day, which is

"the path of the just." The other, as a complete antithesis, wherein is to be found not a single ray of illuminating power. "The way of the wicked." It would not benefit us much to dwell upon the latter, so we have chosen the beautiful simile that appears in the eighteenth verse,

"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."

Here is a fine metaphor. It refers to the sun rising above the horizon, and the increasing twilight, till his beams shine full upon the earth.

The original may be translated, "Going and illuminating unto the prepared day." A note by Dr. Adam Clarke runs thus: -"This seems plainly to refer to the progress of the rising sun while below the horizon; and the gradual increase of the light occasioned by the reflection of his rays by means of the atmosphere, till at last he is completely elevated above the horizon, and then the prepared day has taken place the sun having risen at the determined time."

In applying this metaphor to things spiritual, the first thought that engages the mind is that expressed by the Psalmist in the Psalm 84: 11: "The Lord God is a sun . . . " And by John in his first epistle 1: 5, "God is light and in him is no darkness at all."

He shone forth in unclouded splendour when man first appeared on the earth, and perfect peace, harmony and tranquillity prevailed in the Paradise of Eden. Man daily associated with the Elohim and walked in the light of Divine approval, until transgression overclouded the face of the heavenly light, and from the gloom emanated the dread sentence of condemnation,

"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return"-Genesis 3:19.

And the Sun of Righteousness sunk below the horizon of human life, and left a pall of darkness that has enveloped the world in a night of grief and travail, and will continue until the scene disclosed to John in vision restores the beauty of an unclouded sky.

"And there shall be no night there . . . .for the Lord God giveth them light and they shall reign for ever and ever"-Revelation 22: 5.

But there has been a pathway of steadily increasing twilight that has indicated a return action of the sunken orb of day. And it is this path we have to dwell upon for some little time. It winds its way through the dark history of mankind, and upon it has played in varying form the fervent glow of Divine favour. It is the "path of the just." And it will be our duty and our pleasure to view it in the twofold aspect in which it is presented to us in the inspired record.

There is first, the general aspect, or, the just in the collective sense, as "a generation of the race," styled by the Psalmist,

"The generation of them that seek thy face, O God of Jacob,"

and second, the individual aspect, viz., the unfolding of the Divine life in the sons and daughters of God. To continue our metaphor, the world country through which this path is laid is apostolically divisioned thus: -

1. "The world that then was . . .. . ."-2 Peter 3: 6.

2. "The heavens and earth which are now . . . ."-2 Peter 3: 7.

3. "The heavens and earth that shall pass away with a great noise . . . ."-2 Peter 3: 10.

4. "The heavens and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness"-2 Peter 3: 13.

A fourfold dispensational portrayal is also presented thus: -

1. The Patriarchal.

2. The Mosaic.

3. The Christian.

4. The Millennial

which also through the latter introduces us to a fifth in which is to be realised the full plenitude of Divine Glory. "The path of the just" is a way of preparation by Divine knowledge and obedience for the sons and daughters of Adam unto the glorious perfection of sons of God.

Let us first take the Patriarchal Dispensation and consider the amount of light that illuminated the minds, and constituted the faith of the children of men in those days.

WESTON-SUPER-MARE. J. E. JARVIS.

The Berean Christadelphian, April 1923.



19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Another warning on association with the ungodly --

"Avoid it; pass not by it; turn from it, and pass away!" (15).

It sounds like someone -- seeing a very terrible danger -- striving frantically to warn one who is stumbling blindly into it.

Verse 18 is the beautiful and refreshing contrast, that of which surely we all see the joyfulness and desirability --

"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."

Why shouldn't that be us? It very easily can be -- IF we want it more than anything else, and are prepared to give up everything else for it. It is up to us to decide what we really want.

Is our way of life constantly IMPROVING -- constantly getting more godly, deeper in divine wisdom, more and more thankfully joyful, a fuller and fuller sense of purpose and meaning and hope for the future -- "SHINING MORE AND MORE unto the perfect day?"

If it is not, we are not really living at all, and -- sadder still -- we are not in the way of future life. The proverbs agonize to awake us to the wisdom of Wisdom -- to the wisdom of dropping everything else and making these things ours, in the so brief time that our little span encompasses.

Bro Growcott - She openenth her mouth with wisdom.


20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Once again the exhortation to an unswerving devotion to wisdom and uprightness -- a straight forward path -- a single, all-consuming goal,

26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

The only way to reach our goal of eternal life is to keep the eye ever fixed upon it unswervingly, and continually press forward, as Paul says --

"Forgetting the things behind"

-- the things we cast aside when we accept Christ, the advantages and pleasures and honours of the world that Paul rejected and cast aside as dung, that he might win Christ --

". . . and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14).

If we allow ourselves to be weighted down and sidetracked by present things, we shall lose the race of life.

Bro Growcott - She openenth her mouth with wisdom.