Scripture Reading: Proverbs chapter 4
“Take hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.” – Proverbs 4:13
Many of us have made the statement, “Oh if I would have just listened to my father’s instruction, or my mother’s teaching.” Hind-sight is 20/20. This very thing is that which Solomon desired to warn his son, and us of. If we will listen to good doctrine – teaching, then our lives will take shape in a way that not only brings glory to God, but will result in peace and safety for us. In this and previous chapters, we cannot miss the cry of a father for his son; “attend to know”, “let thy heart retain”, “I have taught”, “I have led”, and “Attend to my words”. These and other like phrases are like salt. They demonstrate his desire to make wisdom tasteful to the reader. Why then would someone ignore the wisdom contained here? Only to act as a simpleton and refuse to hear good teaching; refusing instruction and refusing to walk in the truth or “darkness” (verse 19). Truly it is the pride of a man which keeps him as a simpleton.
The Principle Thing
Solomon teaches us in verse 7, “Wisdom is principle”. Wisdom is the most important thing in life. Not just any wisdom however, God’s wisdom is principle. What is the most important thing in your life? Is it food, work, play or getting a nice home or car? None of those things are intrinsically evil, nor are they individually or collectively contrary to wisdom; that is, unless they become the principle thing. The word principle used here speaks of those things which are “chief” or most important. This causes us to ask the question again, what is the most important thing to us? He describes this wisdom in subsequent verse as an ornament, a crown of glory. It is wisdom, like such adornments, which set us apart from the rest of the world!
Verses 20-27 remind us that wisdom must be retained. This chapter closes with powerful exhorations not to let wisdom depart, and to “keep them [sayings] in the midst of thine heart”. One of the greatest ways we can do this is through memorizing first the principles contained in the proverbs, but then the proverbs themselves. Scripture memory, and particularly the proverbs are extremely help. As the believer memorizes scripture, the Holy Spirit uses it like fuel to light a fire in our life. The more we know from the Word of God, the faster we will be at recalling and applying the principles it contains. Often people will hum the melody, or sing in their head the words to a song over and over again. These have saturated the mind of the individual. That is, in fact much of the intent of music and poetry. Proverbs will likewise be quickly recalled when needed. Scripture memory may seem intimidating to you, take your time start small and keep going. Persevering is the most important thing when it comes to Scripture memory.
Grab hold of these truths, make them principle in your life and remember them. God will us them to transform you and make you wise!