Proverbs 4:5-9

Get Wisdom!

Several Commands Concerning Wisdom

Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it. —Anon.

1. Get wisdom and understanding: (some translate wisdom and insight)

a. Get: to get, acquire, create, buy, possess; obtain; (whatever it takes!)

b. Vs. 5 & 7 – both make the same command: get wisdom and understanding!

c. Fathers can teach their sons many things… some of which becomes obsolete.
• Fathers teach their sons how to fix a car engine—then they become computerized!
• Fathers teach their sons how to fix the TV—then the TV’s change to high resolution…
• Fathers teach their sons how to use the computer software—which becomes obsolete a month later…

d. But if fathers pass on the principles of wisdom—that will stick with his son the rest of his days. It never becomes obsolete!

e. This is one thing the son can GET from his father that will serve him well the rest of his life.

f. HOW does a son GET wisdom?
• 4:1 – by “hearing the instruction of his father or mother.”
• Or by listening to the words of wisdom from an older, more mature saint.
• By reading God’s Word…
• By searching for it, like gold or silver! (2:2-4)

g. Is wisdom what you encourage your children to GET?
• Or are we more concerned that they get a great education? (a top notch education and wisdom are not the same thing)
• Or a good job? Or wealth? Happiness?
• Or are we content just for them to get through school without getting pregnant, thrown in jail, or hooked on drugs?
• What do we really want our children to GET?
• Solomon wants his sons to get wisdom—and he is DOING something to see to it! He is teaching them (he wrote a good book on the subject!) all about wisdom!

2. Forget it not.

a. It is possible to get wisdom and insight—and then forget it!

b. It is quite possible for a true believer to decrease in his level of discernment over the years.

c. II Pet. 3:18 – we are commanded to grow in the knowledge of Christ.
• Why the command? Because we sometimes get tired of study… tired of learning…
• Or, some might assume they have learned it all… and no longer pay attention…
• Some who at one time were diligent in studying and memorizing Scripture no longer study… and truth begins to slip away from their minds and understanding… they forget through neglect.
• Are we as diligent in our hunger for truth and God’s Word as we were before? Have we grown weary? Have we been neglecting God’s Word and wisdom?
• If so, then get back to where you once were!

3. Do not decline the words of my mouth.

a. Decline – to be stretched out; bent; bowed; inclined in a different direction; turned away;

b. It is possible to obtain wisdom… and then decline from the words of wisdom.

c. This verb speaks of being turned away…

d. This could imply that something happened to turn you away…
• Do you know believers who have been turned away from wisdom… turned away from the church… or turned away from their walk with God over something that happened to them?
• Perhaps someone stabbed them in the back… perhaps someone gossiped about them and spread dirt about them… perhaps they were doublecrossed… used… abused… lied to… lied about…
• Thus, they become so disillusioned… so grieved… so discouraged, that they were turned away from following the way of wisdom.
• We have all had some very negative things happen to us as Christians. The devil wants to use those negative things to cause us to be turned away from following the way of wisdom.
• Have you been discouraged? Disillusioned? Don’t allow that to turn you away from the narrow way of God’s wisdom! It can!

e. It could also refer to a person who turned himself away from the way of wisdom…
• Our hearts are already BENT in the wrong direction.
• It does not require an outside source to cause us to turn away from wisdom. We can do that all by ourselves!
• It may be that nothing bad happens to us—but we begin to see the ungodly prosper and perhaps we begin to wonder like Asaph, if perhaps we followed the way of wisdom for nothing!
• Perhaps, through a neglect of our spiritual life, we just grow weary of following the narrow way… it begins to seem too restrictive… too narrow… too much of a cramp on our lifestyle…
• So, we decide to turn away.

f. This CAN happen to any one of us. I have seen it too many times!
• Get wisdom—but once we obtain it—take care of it!
• Don’t forget it—don’t turn away or decline from her words for any reason!

4. Forsake her not.

a. Some people, through neglect, forget wisdom. Others, through discouraging situations gradually decline away. But some outright forsake her—abandon her!

b. This isn’t necessarily a gradual declining away, but is more sudden… and complete!

c. Forsaking wisdom may creep up on a person for all kinds of reasons. But all of a sudden—the believer seems to forsake God, the church, his brethren overnight!

d. I have known believers who SEEMED to doing reasonably well, when out of the clear blue sky, we hear that they have gotten involved in immorality—or they have gotten a divorce—or they have been leading a double life—or have been stealing or cheating … and it blows you away, because you had no idea!

e. This doesn’t only happen to TV evangelists. It happens to what appear to be average believers in the pew!

f. It is possible for us as believers to have wisdom and walk in it one day, and then over time, forsake wisdom and walk in the way of folly all over again!
• I know Christians who done just that—they now walk in folly!
• Their behavior is immoral and foolish—as Solomon warns against!

God’s cure…

1. Love her and embrace her! (vs. 6,8)

a. Love and embrace—speak of a relationship… one that requires work!
• Worldly men love and embrace their wealth; possessions; pleasure.
• We should love and embrace that which is truly valuable!
• A writer today may never attain to the status of a Shakespeare, but he can love Shakespeare and strive for that kind of quality in his writing.
• A Christian (an average Christian—like you and me!) may never achieve all of the wisdom in this book—but we can LOVE it—and make it our goal!

b. 4:21 – let these words of wisdom not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart!
• These are expressions of love!
• If you love someone, you want to BE with them… you want to SEE them… if you are away, you miss them…
• If you love someone, there is a special place in the center of your heart for that person.
• Solomon tells his son to reserve a special place in the midst of his heart for wisdom! Love her! Embrace her!

c. 2:10 – wisdom is to enter into our heart. When it does, it is pleasant!
• These too are words of love.
• It is pleasant to be with the one you love! It is uncomfortable being around enemies.
• Love wisdom! Wisdom should be pleasant—not a burden!
• Love removes the sense of burden and replaces it with pleasure.
• Do you love the truth? Do you love wisdom?

2. Get wisdom and understanding (vs.7)

a. Once again, Solomon repeats his exhortation to his children.

b. But here he states that wisdom should be obtained NOT as one of many equally valuable items. It is the PRINCIPLE thing! (first, best, chief)

c. Don’t just get it—but get this FIRST!

d. Prov. 8:34 – The blessed man is the one who waits daily at the gates of wisdom—waiting eagerly for the gates to open… that he might enter!

e. Matt. 6:33 – many things in this life are worth getting (food; clothing; shelter). But some things are worth getting FIRST!

f. Wisdom is not only important, it is all-important!

g. Solomon wants his sons to have the right priority… divine wisdom first!

h. Love it first! (Of course, we love divine wisdom as an expression of our love for God!)

i. Illustration – soldiers who were away serving their country in W.W. II received mail.
• Some of those men were engaged to be married, and received a love note from their fiancée.
• Don’t you think they would be EAGER to read that letter?
• It isn’t something they would throw in a pile of papers to get to if they have time some day. They would open it immediately and devour that letter!
• If we love God, we will love and embrace His word… and the wisdom which it contains!

3. God’s wisdom IS OBTAINABLE!

a. He commands that we get it—and this command is for EVERY believer, not just the highly educated or the intellectuals—it is for you and me too!

b. If God commands that we get, then it is possible for us all to get.

c. This wisdom is not obtained via great brains, but through great obedience.
• Many men with great intellectual minds are fools spiritually!
• Many believers who are quite slow are wise!

d. This wisdom is learned through experience—a life dedicated to DOING God’s will.

e. John 7:17 – if a man is WILLING TO DO GOD’S WILL, he will know doctrine… teaching… he will have wisdom!
• Thus, it is a matter of the WILL…
• If you WILL—if you have a hunger or desire for it—you can obtain it!
• We usually get in life what we hunger for!
• If a young person wants to be a musician bad enough, he will become a musician! The hunger and drive is more valuable than the raw talent!
• Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration!”
• So too with divine wisdom. We are to hunger for it… strive for it… search for it… make it our goal… and GET it!
• We are commanded to—and we are ABLE to…

f. Wisdom is a heart issue… for out of the heart come all the issues of life!