Proverbs 4: Pay Attention & Acquire Wisdom

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 24: Thursday

Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,
And give attention that you may gain understanding,
For I give you sound teaching;
Do not abandon my instruction.

Proverbs 4:1–2

Thursday’s Bible reading is Proverbs 4. Throughout this chapter the father continually urges his sons to pay attention to his words and to acquire wisdom. He says this over and over again and every time he does so he gives reasons as to why it is so important to heed him and to gain wisdom.

The words of this chapter decry the notion of passive parenting. There is urgency and involvement of the father in teaching. The constant repetition combined with numerous reasons for wisdom emphasizes how important acquiring wisdom is. Repetition and reason are great tools of both parent and teacher. Repetition emphasizes the main points—listen and acquire wisdom—and giving numerous reasons for doing so undergirds the importance of wisdom far more than just repeating the same reason would.

The way of wisdom is also contrasted with the path of the wicked; the lack of wisdom is not neutral, but the lack of wisdom means having no guard rails to keep you on the right paths and prevent you from stumbling.

“Acquire wisdom!
Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away
from the words of my mouth.
“Do not forsake her,
and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.””
Proverbs 4:5–6

The benefits of wisdom contrasted with the results of wicked ways and delivered with urgency and concern.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
River Lea Steps, Gordon Joly: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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