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THE PATHWAYS OF LIFE
Parental Instruction Exemplified
Verses 1-4, citing a splendid example, link together 3 generations as Solomon continues to instruct his children. He is teaching them good doctrine as commanded in Vs. 2 and Deuteronomy 6:6-7; and as he himself had been taught by a father and mother who loved him much, Vs. 3-4. Originating with God Himself and sanctioned by parent and grand-parents, it is commanded that these instructions be kept in the heart and faithfully obeyed, Vs. 1, 2, 4; Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 2:1-5; Proverbs 3:1.
Get and Hold Wisdom `
Verses 5-13 emphasize the need to seek and retain wisdom:
1) To regard wisdom as the principal need in life, Vs. 7; Proverbs 3:13-15.
2) To get wisdom and understanding by heeding the instructions of the father, Vs. 5, 6,10, 11;
3) To love (vs. 6), exalt (vs. 8) and be guided by wisdom (vs. 11-12)
4) To hold fast to wisdom (vs. 12, 20, 21)
5) To recognize that so doing assures long life (vs. 10), honor (Vs. 8) and a life that is a spiritual ornament, pleasing to God; (Vs. 9), also 1:9 and Proverbs 3:32-34.
Avoid Path of Wicked
Verses 14-17, 19 warn against following the path of the wicked:
1) Verses 14-15 admonish do not begin the way of the wicked; do not take the first steps Avoid questionable places and practices, vs. 14, 15; Psalms 1:1; Psalms 26:4; Jeremiah 15:17.
2) Verses 16-17 explain why such should be avoided. It is a way of mischief often leading to violence, disgrace, even death, Proverbs 10:6-7; Proverbs 10:28; Ecclesiastes 8:10; Ecclesiastes 8:13.
3) Verse 19 declares that the path of the wicked is also a way of spiritual darkness and destruction, Job 18:5-6; Job 21:30; Jeremiah 23:10-12; Matthew 8:12.
Verse 18 describes the blessings of the path of the just:
1) It is a way of light for others, Matthew 5:14; Philippians 2:15.
2) A way that honors our Heavenly Father, Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12.
3) A way that will bring joy in the day of Christ when fruits of labor are revealed, Philippians 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:19.
Verse 19 declares that the path of the wicked is also a way of spiritual darkness and destruction, Job 18:5-6; Job 21:30; Jeremiah 23:10-12; Matthew 8:12.
Verses 20-27 provide further words of counsel for those who walk the path of the just:
1) Attend, take time to read, meditate upon and obey the words of divine truth. Such will provide spiritual food, comfort and strength, Vs. 20-22; Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:1-3; Psalms 119:11; Luke 4:4.
2) Keep in subjection the heart and fleshly impulses to stray from the path of the just, particularly those that prompt the eyes, mouth, feet and mind to sin, Vs. 23-25; Proverbs 2:1; Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 3:21; Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 5:28; 1 John 2:16; Galatians 5:24; James 3:5-12.
3) Ponder the path of thy feet. Whatever is planned or contemplated weigh by the Word c God. Hold to that which squares with the Word. Do not deviate, Vs. 26-27;16:11; Deuteronomy 5:32; Deuteronomy 28:14; Joshua 1:7.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 4". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany