In this fourth Proverb Solomon reveals the personal teaching he received from his father David. In previous messages we have seen some of his Mother Bathsheeba’s teaching, but here in Proverb 4 David’s specific and powerful principles for living the Christian life are given. Notice in (v.1-4) the words that Solomon uses to get the attention of his children: “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.”
The very first words out of David’s mouth focus upon memorizing the words that he spoke to Solomon. This familiar theme runs throughout the book of Proverbs and is commanded at least a half-dozen times. This emphasis, found in one of the primary Wisdom Books of the Old Testament, is the reason the Lord has caused us to underline the great importance of memorizing and meditating upon the precious and powerful Word of God. If you need a copy of our Memory Partner Program you can copy the double-sided pdf at our website: http://www.btmi.org/tools/pdf/MemoryPartnerProgram.pdf
This one practice will put you in position for the blessing of the Lord as His Holy Spirit feeds upon and utilizes the Scripture to cause believers to become more like Jesus. This is God’s design for discipleship, God’s design for glorifying Him, God’s design for bringing forth “Fruit that remains” for without Him we can do nothing! (John 15:1-17)
Although this may sound like a “Broken Record” it is the truth, that we as Believers need to hear and apply to our lives if we expect to please the Lord, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and without faith it is impossible to please Him, therefore, let us make a resolution afresh and vow to memorize and meditate upon the Living Word of God who is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3) as we go forth to serve Him in this New Year!
David’s first two commands aside, the next four commands do not let up on the focal point of his instruction: “Get wisdom, get understanding; forget it not, neither decline from the words of my mouth.” (v.5). These are just a few of the (15) preliminary commands David gave Solomon concerning memorizing/meditating which produces God’s wisdom in (v1-9). His explanation of the results of digesting the Word of God brings forth this intimate teaching to his gifted son.
Then, in (v.10) a very person plea from David is given as he uses the emphatic words: “Hear [listen] O my son”, in essence David is begging Solomon to pay close attention and hear what he has to say telling him that obedience will bring about a long and blessed life. Notice the past tense in (v.11) as David reviews what he has already done for Solomon: “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.” He reminds Solomon in two brief statements of the years, yea, almost four decades of right paths that he has invested in his son. And, from this point to the end of the Proverb the word path appears a total of four times referring to the course of life. The word path/paths appears (18) times in the book of Proverbs but it is here in David’s personal instruction that it becomes a recurring and very important theme.
David’s Holy Spirit-led teaching utilizes this word to show Solomon that what he has taught him over the years includes the command: “Enter not in the path of the wicked” in the section that includes six negative commands concerning the wrong path, but, during this negative instruction concerning the wicked (v.14-19) David inserts the positive and balancing promise of : “But the path of the just is as the Shining Light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day” which is when the Believer goes home to be with his LORD! The Shining Light is, of course, the Lord Jesus!
Then in (v.20) David once again returns to the familiar address of “My son” as he re-emphasizes the great need for Solomon to digest his precious Words and gives the reason: “For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Then, the heart becomes the focus in (v.20-23) with a favorite verse of mine ending this short section: “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” David ends this section by returning to the key word: “Ponder the path of thy feet and let all thy ways be established” which is the last time the word “path” is used as David emphasizes three vital activities: Speech, sight and direction (v.24-27) bringing this powerful and most personal Proverb to a fitting close. Drivers, take heed, this is the only place that Solomon gave us the personal instruction of his father!
Chaplain L. E. Wolfe --- www.btmi.org
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