Archive for the ‘Proverbs 04’ Category

 “Good doctrine”: There is no wisdom but that which is linked to good doctrine, which should be the focal point of all instruction.

Sometimes in the Proverbs, it seems as if we are covering the same ground all over again. Whether this is to drive home a lesson, or whether we are picking up extra fragments of truth and that is the reason for repetition is not clear. As we said in previous lessons, wisdom is the subject. We see here, also, that a doctrine (belief) has been established.

Instructions in God’s law came from father to son in these times. It was very important not to leave out even minor details in that law. We are told again here to remember in detail the law of God and to live by it (do not forsake it).  In fact, we should make it our doctrine or way of life as well.

One of the greatest responsibilities of parents is to encourage their children to become wise. Here Solomon tells how his father, David, encouraged him to seek wisdom when he was young.  This encouragement may have prompted Solomon to ask God for wisdom above everything else.  Wisdom can be passed on from parents and grandparents to children, from generation to generation.  Ultimately, of course, all wisdom comes from God; parents can only urge their children to turn to him.  If your parents never taught you in this way, God’s Word can function as a loving and compassionate parent to you.  You can learn from the Scriptures and then create a legacy of wisdom as you teach the next generation. 

Think about the path you are launching out on. Make sure that the path you are heading out on leads to righteousness. Do not despair of the path you have chosen. Make your path straight. Things of the world must not attract you off this path. Stay on the straight path that will lead you to heaven.

God calls us to stay spiritually alert at all times, and that includes taking regular inventory of our lives’ directions

 PSALM.139:23, 24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. 

I have always said that our eyes reveal what is inside of us.

They are little windows that you may look into the soul. Shifty eyes that cannot look at you, ordinarily indicate the person has something they are covering up. Eyes that look straight at you say, “I am telling the truth”. Wandering eyes of any kind can bring heartache. 


Proverbs 4:8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her and she will honor you.

Promotion and honor are simple. The secret to success is right before you. These are not the words of a money-grubbing salesman wanting your enrollment fee for a foolish self-help program – these are the free words of God and two rich and wise kings of Israel.

Exalt and embrace wisdom, and you will be promoted and honored by God and men. Make wisdom the most important goal of your life; love wisdom with fervent appreciation and desire, and she will bring you greatness. What are you waiting for?

Solomon here repeated what David had taught him about pursuing wisdom (Pr 4:5-9). He remembered his own father teaching him, and he repeated the valuable instruction for the benefit of his son (Pr 4:3-4). Let every parent understand the importance of such training.

The highest goal for any man is to be like the Lord Jesus Christ, Who grew in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). How did He gain such wonderful success? He increased in wisdom, which is the ability to judge and act rightly in life. Wisdom is the key by which any person can find approval of God and man. Wisdom brings promotion and honor.

There are four feminine pronouns in this proverb referring to Lady Wisdom, Solomon’s personification of wisdom, understanding, discretion, and knowledge. While he warned against the strange woman (Pr 7:5-27; 9:13-18), he also told of wonderful Lady Wisdom and her great benefits for men (Pr 1:20-33; 2:4; 3:13-18; 4:5-13; 7:1-4; 8:1-36; 9:1-5).

David, by wisdom, had a heart like God’s, so the LORD made him king over Israel, and all Israel loved him (I Sam 18:5,16,30; II Sam 7:8). Lady wisdom promoted and honored him. Citizens and enemies considered him like an angel (I Sam 29:9; II Sam 14:17). How did he get this glorious reputation? He committed himself to wisdom (Ps 101:1-8).

David exalted and embraced wisdom. Consider his great example well. What did he think of Scripture? He thought it more valuable than much fine gold and more pleasant than honey and honeycomb (Ps 19:10; 119:127). How often did he think about the Bible? Day and night (Ps 1:2)! What was his greatest treasure? The Bible (Ps 119:14,111,162)!

Where did he want to be more than anywhere else? In church (Ps 84:10)! Who were his only friends? Men fearing God and keeping God’s commandments (Ps 119:63)! How often did he pray? Three times a day (Ps 55:17)! How did he approach God? In humble self-examination (Ps 139:23-24)! Did he praise God? Seven times a day (Ps 119:164)!

How can you exalt wisdom? Make it your top priority (Pr 4:7; 16:16). Diligently pursue it like you would a hidden treasure (Pr 2:1-5; 23:23). Sacrifice anything in order to get it, even friends (Pr 13:20; 18:11). Put it into practice, no matter what others think or what it might cost (Pr 29:25; Dan 1:6). God and men will bless your effort and emphasis.

How can you embrace wisdom? Value and cherish it as a precious asset (Pr 3:15; 8:11). Love it more than anything else (Pr 4:6; 8:17,21). Despise and reject anything that is contrary to it (Pr 8:13; 14:7; Ps 119:128). Avoid anyone or anything that tempts you away from it (Pr 9:6; I Cor 15:33). God and men will bless your effort and emphasis.

Joseph was promoted and honored. Though having ten older brothers, he obeyed his father better than any of them. Sold into slavery, he served diligently and faithfully. He rejected a strange woman simply out of fear of God, though at great cost. Much more could be said, but what happened? He rose quickly to be next to Pharaoh in power.

Daniel was promoted and honored. Captured, sterilized, and taken 500 miles to Babylon, he rejected the king’s religion, no matter the cost. He told the hard truth even when contrary to kings’ desires. When a new religious law was passed, he disregarded it. What happened? He was the highest administrator in the world’s greatest empire for 70 years.

If God and men have not promoted and honored you, humble yourself and confess your neglect of wisdom. Exalt and embrace her in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Seek His Word, His church, and His saints with all your heart. Promotion and honor will come!

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 4:23-27 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; Keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; Keep your foot from evil.

Our heart, our feelings of love and desire-dictates to a great extent how we live because we always find time to do what we enjoy. Solomon tells us to guard our heart above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. Make sure your affections push you in the right direction. Put boundaries (Guard Rails) on your desires: don’t go after everything you see. Look straight ahead, keep your eyes fixed on your goal, and don’t get sidetracked on detours that lead to sin.

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 4:24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 

Rule your speech. Guard your tongue. Mark your words. After keeping your heart with all diligence, from which come the issues of life, Solomon warned you to reject ungodly speech (Pr 4:23). Beginning with the thoughts and intents of the heart, wisdom demands you govern your speech (Pr 4:24), your eyes (Pr 4:25), and your feet (Pr 4:26-27).

It is impossible to have godly and gracious speech without a pure heart, for the content of the heart supplies the mouth (Matt 12:33-35). You can tell a good heart by kind and holy words, and you can tell a bad heart by harsh or carnal words. Jesus said it; believe it. Kings love the perfect man who speaks graciously from a pure heart (Pr 22:11).

This proverb does not warn you to stay away from those with froward mouths and perverse lips, for that advice is given elsewhere (Pr 14:7; 19:27; I Cor 15:33). It warns you to get rid of your own froward mouth and perverse lips. The context is ruling your own heart, lips, eyes, and feet (Pr 4:23-27), not avoiding others with those sins.

Solomon taught his son and told him to listen and submit to his fatherly instruction (Pr 4:20). He then exhorted him to keep his advice directly before him and firm in his resolve (Pr 4:21). And he encouraged him by saying that it would give him life and health (Pr 4:22). Then in order, he told his son to guard his heart, lips, eyes, and steps (Pr 4:23-27).

A foolish mouth will ruin your reputation (Eccl 5:3; 10:12-14). An offensive mouth will cause trouble with men (Pr 12:13; 13:3; 14:7; 18:6-7; 22:10; 24:9). And then you will give account of every idle word in the Judgment (Pr 6:16-19; Matt 12:36-37; Eph 5:3-6).

Kind and wise speech will build your reputation (Pr 15:4; 18:20; 24:26). Appropriate words will enhance your relationship with men (Pr 10:32; 15:23; 16:13; 25:11). And the blessed God is pleased with constructive and helpful words (Pr 12:22; Eph 4:29; Col 4:6).

Improve your speech by cutting your words in half, if you talk more than the average person (Pr 17:27; Jas 1:19). You then must rule your spirit, for it can kindle a fire from hell (Pr 16:32; Jas 3:3-8)! And you have to avoid arguments (Pr 26:4-5; II Tim 2:23).

If you keep your heart at peace with the Lord and man, it will be difficult for you to speak harsh or painful things. If you keep your heart pure with the Lord and man, it will be difficult for you to have foolish or carnal speech. If you fill your mind with noble things, you will have precious material for conversation (Phil 4:8). May God guide your tongue.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 4:16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

Wicked friends will destroy you. If you want to grow in wisdom and godliness, you must avoid foolish companions. Paul wrote, evil communications corrupt good manners (I Cor 15:33). Solomon soberly warned his son to stay far away from evil men (Pr 4:14-15). Their hearts are controlled by sin and their thoughts dedicated to it (Pr 4:16-17).

Good and evil are opposites, and good men and evil men are also opposites. They are perpetual enemies (Pr 29:27). Wise and just men choose to live successful lives, and God blesses them with light (Pr 4:18). Foolish and wicked men live in darkness, stumbling through a dysfunctional life by the blindness of arrogant and ignorant hearts (Pr 4:19).

There are two kinds of people on earth – the righteous and the wicked. While the wicked may perform outward acts that appear good, those acts come from a heart that is only evil in God’s sight (Ps 14:1-3; Rom 3:9-18). While the righteous may sometimes live foolishly, yet they have a righteous heart that is vexed by sin (Ps 73:16-22; II Pet 2:7-8).

This proverb and the next are Solomon’s warning about the depraved character of wicked men (Pr 4:16-17). Mischief and wickedness are more important to them than sleep. They cannot rest nor be content unless they have corrupted or hurt others. Wickedness and violence are their bread and wine. They must eat them every day to satisfy their hunger!

There are no neutral men. Righteous men are the followers of Jesus Christ and godliness, and wicked men are the captive slaves of Satan and sin. Men either base their lives on the absolute terms of the Bible, or they base them on the world’s lies received from the devil. It is this great antagonism that makes worldly friends impossible for dedicated Christians.

The NEA, ACLU, PTA, NOW, MTV, CNN, FNN, UN, PETA, ECM, AFL-CIO, UAW, USA, DNC, RNC, and organizations of this world are dedicated to the overthrow of Bible Christianity. They work day and night for mischief and to cause men to fall from righteousness and truth. They cannot sleep until they get rid of Jesus Christ, His disciples, and His doctrine from the earth. Take a strong stand on any Bible subject and find out!

You must measure your friends and associates carefully and strictly and reject those that do not meet God’s high standards, like David did (Ps 15:4; 101:3-8; 119:63,79). And Solomon taught the same (Pr 9:6; 13:20; 14:7; 19:27). Some of these sinful threats to your success may be family members, but DNA and earthly blood ties matter very little to God or true disciples (I Sam 23:17; II Chr 15:16; Matt 10:34-37; Luke 14:25-33).

The God of heaven and the wisest of men command you to avoid the world, reject their opinions, despise their lifestyle, and hate their offers (Ps 101:3-8; Rom 12:1-2; II Cor 6:14-18; Eph 5:7-13; Jas 4:4; I John 2:15-17). No matter how subtle the insinuation or seductive the temptation against the absolute authority of the Bible, you must turn away with all your strength to avoid being corrupted (I Cor 15:33; I Tim 6:3-5; II Tim 3:1-5).

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 4:25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.

How is your vision? Forget detail, distance, or depth. How is your directional vision? Do you see straight ahead, or do you have peripheral vision? Peripheral vision, or seeing things from the corner of your eye, is a good thing for driving and sports, but it is horrible for Christians. You must see only one object – God, His kingdom, and His righteousness.

Having told you to keep your heart with all diligence (Pr 4:23), the Preacher warned against peripheral distractions, either left or right (Pr 4:26-27). You must establish your direction straight ahead and keep going that way – to the single goal of pleasing the Lord.

“Eyes” and “eyelids” are synecdoche, where part of a thing represents the whole. Solomon did not care about the little flap of skin that covers your eyeballs. He wanted your heart and mind and soul. He wanted all of you. In the last eight verses of this chapter, he lists ear, eyes, heart, flesh, heart, mouth, lips, eyes, eyelids, feet, and hand.

Your eyes select objects and direct your movements toward them, but it is your heart and mind that give and receive feedback from your eyes. Heart and eyes cannot be separated. It is your overall person, eyes included, you must keep in the way of wisdom and truth.

The Lord Jesus taught against spiritual peripheral vision with similar language. And you should look unto Him as the great example of perfect vision for your soul (Heb 12:1-4). The context of His words will let you learn their sense and application (Matt 6:19-24).

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23

Consider the context well. He condemned laying up treasure on earth, when you can lay up treasure in heaven, for your heart will follow your treasure (Matt 6:19-21). And He denied any man can serve two masters – God and mammon, or money (Matt 6:24).

He reasoned, if a man’s natural vision directs his bodily movements, then a blind eye is a horrible thing, for the body cannot know where to move. Considered spiritually, an eye with undivided honesty and zeal for God will lead to holiness, but a double eye of hypocrisy and worldly lusts will lead to destruction. Consider the Saviour’s warning!

Consider an obscure reference to soldiers in Chronicles. Zebulun brought 50,000 fighting men who were of one heart for David (I Chron 12:33). They had no mixed emotions. They were not thinking about going home. They were not thinking about anything else.

Jesus rejoiced to see Nathanael, for his heart was free from duplicity, hypocrisy, and a double mind (John 1:47). He was an Israelite indeed, fully committed to his God. This single purpose in life marks a consistent Christian that is of great value to Jesus Christ.

The Christian life is a race (I Cor 9:26; Heb 12:1). To win, runners must look straight ahead without being distracted by competitors or other things. Paul pressed forward, not looking sideways, to win the prize of God’s high calling (Phil 3:13-14), and he described those with peripheral vision for worldly things as belly worshippers (Phil 3:18-19).

Wicked men have a double heart (Ps 12:1-2). They are not totally committed to the Lord and spiritual things. Their hearts still lust after this world and its things. They are carnally minded, and they show little evidence of grace in their hearts. You can easily spot them, for they never talk about the Lord with the same passion as they talk about their things.

James warned twice against being double minded – or having more than one objective for your life (James 1:8; 4:8). He said a double minded man is unstable in all his ways, and he exhorted you to diligent efforts to reduce your objectives to only one (James 4:8-10).

Eve was seduced by her wandering eyes (Gen 3:6). Lot’s wife could not keep from looking back (Gen 19:17,26). Achan saw Babylonian goods and money that cost him his life (Josh 7:21). And David took what he saw one night from a rooftop (II Sam 11:2).

Your prayer should be for God to keep your eyes from seeing vanity (Ps 119:37). The lust of the eyes is one of the great temptations of man (I John 2:15-17). So careful was Job in his pursuit of holiness, he made a covenant with his eyes against thinking upon young beautiful women (Job 31:1). Contrast him with false teachers (II Pet 2:14).

The first church, under the powerful influence of the Holy Ghost, had a single mind with God and each another (Acts 2:46). They were undivided in their dedicated and solitary ambition of serving the Lord. Things in the corner of their vision did not distract them.

Godly men serve masters with single hearts (Eph 6:5; Col 3:22). Their solitary goal is to please the Lord on the job, regardless of what men may think or do. They do not seek a raise or promotion as their principal objective, for they see only God’s reward.

Dear reader, what distracts your vision and progress? You need only one goal – pleasing God with a holy life and preparing for heaven. Put on your blinders and keep your eyes and motion straight ahead. Look only forward – only upward – and only heavenward!

Did the Lord Jesus have any other objectives in His life on earth? None! Did things around Him distract him? Never! Though he had food, honor, and glory offered to Him by the devil, He remained absolutely faithful to His one goal – pleasing His Father by a perfect life and death. Glory! Follow this great Example and His singular vision!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 

Wise men do not let life happen to them. They act with careful thought and sober reflection. They plan and manage their lives. They choose wise goals and the means to achieve them, and they compare their progress to them. Other than rare acts of God they cannot avoid, they control and direct their circumstances to serve them, not vice versa.

Rather than bouncing from one goal or direction to another, prudent men fix their lives in one steady course. They discipline all aspects of their lives toward their chosen goals. They carefully consider every part of life. They question, evaluate, and muse upon each choice they make to keep their overall objective before them and steady progress to it.

Reader, where are you going? Ponder the path of your feet. Is getting older all you are doing? Is life happening to you, rather than you directing it? Your daily and weekly routines should have a solid purpose and noble objective. Or are you on a treadmill – in a rut – not making any progress? Step back. Ponder the path of your feet. Examine yourself (II Cor 13:5). Consider your ways (Hag 1:5). Commune with your own heart (Ps 4:4).

What does it mean to ponder? It means to weigh a matter mentally, to consider it carefully, to think about it, to muse over it, and to meditate upon it. Most are too busy with too much noise and activity to stop and think soberly about their lives. Instead of musing, they seek amusements – activities designed to stop all thinking. Instead of self- and life-examination, they chase more entertainment. Instead of thinking, they drown out internal conversation with television, movies, music, drinking, or drugs. What folly!

Instead of quiet time to reflect on their lives, they have radios in their cars, televisions in their homes, and cell phones in their pockets. “God is not in all his thoughts” (Ps 10:4). They do not know where they are going, why they are going in a certain direction, or the consequences of it. They are victims of circumstances rather than managers of them. They are foolish and will be punished as surely as gravity causes things to fall downward.

But wisdom cries, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah” (Ps 4:4). “I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search” (Ps 77:6). “But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Hab 2:20). These are the activities of wise and holy men.

It is the fool who lives without thinking, walks without meditating, and chooses his path without pondering. Christians are called to walk circumspectly – examining their path from all angles! Only by this discipline can they understand and apply God’s will to their lives (Eph 5:15-17). It is your duty to make straight paths for your feet (Heb 12:13).

Another error keeps men from pondering their lives – most of their pondering is about others! It is the wicked, self-righteous hypocrite that ponders the lives of others instead of his own. He comforts himself in his sins by trying to identify as many as possible in others (Luke 18:9-14). Jesus condemned worrying about the mote in another person’s eye while you have barn beams in your own. This activity is the opposite of self-examination, and it proves a person to be the opposite of the righteous and wise – it proves him a fool.

What should you ponder? Are you walking with God and growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ? Are you bearing much spiritual fruit? Are you forgiving, loving, and serving all others to keep the second commandment? Is your marriage what it should be? Do you have activities in your life that create temptation and lead to sin? Are you single minded for the kingdom of God? Do you live with eternity in view? If you were to die today, would Jesus Christ find you in the way of righteousness?

Is your life leading toward the holy objective of pleasing Jesus Christ? Does your path on Sundays include a faithful church where all doctrine and practice matches the Scriptures? Are your priorities consistent with those Solomon lists in this book? Do you read, meditate, pray, and sing in private on a regular basis? Ponder the path of your feet.

Father, have you pondered the path your wife and children are taking? It is your duty before God to lead, guide, and correct them into the right way of the fear of the Lord (Ps 34:11). The true measure of your duty and love is to prepare and perfect them to meet the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you helping them keep their feet in the pathway of righteousness?

What keeps you from pondering the path of your feet? Whatever it is, it is not worth the danger of wandering out of the way of understanding and ending up in the congregation of the dead (Pr 21:16). “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pr 14:12; 16:25). And reader, if you do not ponder your ways, the LORD is pondering them, especially your sexual ways (Pr 5:21). Do not neglect or forget this sacred duty to ponder your feet!

God Jehovah of the Bible calls you like He did Abraham. “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Gen 17:1). Will you answer the call?

If you answer this call, the LORD will send you visible and invisible teachers. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Is 30:21). Do you obey your teachers?

The psalmist said, “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies” (Ps 119:59). Reader, will you join the psalmist in this frequent duty of pondering your life? “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD” (Lam 3:40). Make it a part of your daily exercise in prayer (Ps 139:23-24).

Your flesh, the world, and Satan will daily lay snares in the way. You will face many even today. They will try to tempt and trap you in your thoughts, in your speech, in your relationships, in your job, and everywhere else. It is your duty to consider your ways carefully and avoid those snares. It is your duty to turn away, quickly, from every tempting and threatening situation (Pr 4:14-15; Rom 13:14; II Tim 2:22).

After pondering the path of your feet, it is your duty to fix and secure all your ways in the fear of the Lord. How do you identify the fear of the Lord for your life? By the Holy Scriptures! They are the lamp for your feet and the light for your path (Ps 119:105). The sure rock of Christ’s sayings must be the foundation of your house (Matt 7:24-27; II Pet 1:19-21). Establish – fix and settle permanently – all your ways in the Lord. And the grace of God is able to bless you toward this glorious life (I Pet 5:10; I Thess 3:12-13).

True disciples, the true children of God, continue in the word of Christ (John 8:31). They are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, but rather continue in the faith grounded and settled (Col 1:23). And it is by this confident and established perseverance in the truth that you show you are the true brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb 3:6,14).

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 4:10 Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.

Would you like a long life? Many are obsessed with life extension, as shown by the money and time spent on vitamins, medication, surgery, and diet and exercise programs. This proverb offers a long life, but few will be interested, because it requires humility and obedience. Most people would rather pay for placebos and continue in sin and pride.

David taught Solomon to crave and value wisdom (Pr 4:3-9), and Solomon taught his son the same (Pr 4:1-2). By the emphasis of two generations – an exceptional father and grandfather – the importance of wisdom was made clear. Solomon then appealed to his son to hear and receive the fatherly advice he himself had been taught for a long life.

Solomon said, “Hear, O my son.” Men have trouble hearing advice, because their own feelings, thoughts, ideas, opinions, preferences, and goals race loudly through their foolish minds. Others are too busy chasing vanity and do not have the time to listen. Only a few have the wisdom to make the time and shut down their own ignorant thinking to learn knowledge from another, whom God has appointed as a teacher (Pr 18:1-2).

Solomon said, “Receive my sayings.” Men resent correction, instruction, and reproof, because their pride will not admit they are wrong. The bondage of arrogance and conceit dooms most men to a life of ignorance and failure (Pr 26:12,16). They cannot learn, because they will not reject their ideas to admit another is wiser. Only a few have wisdom to admit ignorance and learn from others (I Kgs 3:7; Ps 131:1-3; Jer 1:6; Matt 18:3-4).

God, parents, and pastors teach wisdom. He wrote the Bible, a divine library of 66 books filled with wisdom in various literary forms. God gives parents to children from their first moments to help them avoid the troubles of life. And Jesus Christ ordained true pastors to feed His people with knowledge and understanding (Jer 3:15). It is your duty to humble yourself and tremble before these ordained teachers (Is 66:2; Eph 6:1-3; I Thess 5:20).

Learning wisdom will extend your life, and it will enhance your life. There is safety in wisdom that secures you from life’s dangers and the judgment of God and men (Pr 2:18; 3:2,16; 5:5; 7:27; 8:36; 9:11,18; 10:2; 11:4,19; 12:28; 13:14; 14:12,27; 16:14,25; 18:21; 21:6). And there is a reward in wisdom that brings glory and honor (Pr 3:16; 4:8-9; 22:4). Do you fully appreciate the value in hearing and receiving the sayings of your teachers?

Wisdom will extend your life naturally, especially the sayings of this book of Proverbs. Here are warnings against life-shortening consequences of accidents, adultery, anger, bitterness, a broken heart, capital punishment, crime, depression, disease, divorce, drunkenness, envy, fear, gluttony, grief, guilt, hatred, marital dysfunction, murder, STDs, stress, strife, violence. It is wisdom to consider these sinful causes of premature death.

If you do not think the above things shorten physical life, you need to think again. Some will kill you directly; some will kill you indirectly. Consider just for starters the enormous power of psychosomatic illnesses – bodily breakdown from mental or spiritual problems (Pr 15:13; 17:22; 18:14). Modern medicine confirms that a content and happy person in a monogamous marriage will outlive a single whoremonger of either sex.

Wisdom will extend your life supernaturally by securing God’s blessings and/or avoiding His justice and judgment. The blessed God will cut off the lives of the wicked (Ps 55:23; Eccl 7:17), but He will extend the lives of the righteous (Pr 10:27; Ps 34:11-16; 91:14-16; 128:6; I Tim 4:8; I Pet 3:8-12). Remember the reward of long life for obeying parents (Eph 6:1-3). When God is on your side by obedience to His word and teachers, you have done more for your future health and longevity than any exercise or nutrition program.

Consider the shortened lives of the world’s inhabitants (Gen 7:21-24), Sodom’s fine citizens (Gen 19:24-25), Er and Onan (Gen 38:7-10), Eli’s sons (I Sam 2:25), Nabal (I Sam 25:38), Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), Herod (Acts 12:23), and many church members at Corinth (I Cor 11:30). This is no laughing matter, for you see it throughout the Old Testament; and you see it even among church members of the New Testament.

Solomon wrote elsewhere, “Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?” (Eccl 7:17.) It is a known fact that hard living – a sinful lifestyle – shortens life expectancy. What will you do with the sayings of the teachers in your life? Will you hear and receive them and live? Or reject them and die?

Son, do you hear and receive your father’s sayings? Do you gladly listen to your father and appreciate his correction, instruction, and warnings? Or do you resent him for ignoring your great experience and wisdom? Do you ignore him because he is out of touch with your foolish and vain world? Humble yourself, or die young (Eph 6:1-3).

Father, do you say wise things to your son regularly? Or do you just bring home the bacon, vegetate with the television, and become a couch potato. You must teach him the wisdom of God (Ps 34:11; Eph 6:4; Joel 1:3). Do it, or you will cost him years of his life! Why did you have him in the first place, if you are not going to teach him to be wise?

The God of heaven has spoken by His word. Will you hear and receive the sayings? He has sent pastors to feed His people from that word. Will you hear and receive their sayings? Natural and supernatural blessings depend on your choice. What will it be? Will you live a long and abundant life? Or will you be cut off early after living miserably?