Daily Wisdom 79: Proverbs 4:20

Proverbs 4:20 (NKJV) — 20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.

Purposeful attention. In an entertainment oriented society, many have the idea that something must be entertaining to be worthy of attention. This is not true. Some of the things that are most entertaining to the eye and ear are the least worthy of attention, while often what is least entertaining is most important. The point of this verse is that paying attention is a choice. We can discipline ourselves to be attentive to anything we choose.

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Daily Wisdom 78: Proverbs 4:19

Proverbs 4:19 (NKJV) — 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.

The danger of ignorance. While the just person sees more clearly all the time, the wicked walk in darkness. Their path is so dark they do not know what is causing them to stumble. They do not recognize the law of sowing and reaping. They fail to see the connection between their actions and the resulting circumstances.

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Daily Wisdom 77: Proverbs 4:17-18

Proverbs 4:17–18 (NKJV) — 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

The contrast between the wicked and the just. Wickedness and violence characterize the lifestyles of evil people. On the other hand, those who are just are continually growing in God. Day by day, they see things more clearly, they learn more about His Word, and they desire to be more like Him. The phrase “shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” refers to the manner in which the day grows constantly brighter until noon. At the earliest hours of morning, only the vaguest shapes and outlines can be seen. But as the morning progresses, these things take on more definition until they can finally be seen in their greatest detail. Similarly, those who are just see more clearly every day; they understand more and more about what God is doing in their lives. They walk more perfectly as they go along.

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Daily Wisdom 76: Proverbs 4:16

Proverbs 4:16 (NKJV) — 16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.

How to discern a wicked person. Wicked and evil persons do not feel their day is complete unless they have perpetrated some kind of evil. They especially delight in causing some innocent person to fall into sin.

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Daily Wisdom 75: Proverbs 4:15

Proverbs 4:15 (NKJV) — 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on.

Stay as far away from evil as possible. Not only are wise persons not to walk on the path of the wicked, they are to avoid it altogether One of Eve’s first mistakes was getting close enough to the forbidden tree to carry on a conversation with the serpent.

Proverbs 14:7 (NKJV) — 7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.

Ephesians 4:27 (NKJV) — 27 nor give place to the devil.

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Daily Wisdom 74: Proverbs 4:14

Proverbs 4:14 (NKJV) — 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil.

A wise person will not walk the same path as wicked people. Not only is there the danger of guilt by association, but there is also the detrimental influence of the ungodly.

Psalm 1:1 (NKJV) — 1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

This admonition does not imply that we should not attempt to win unbelievers to the Lord; it rather prohibits our uniting with them for common purposes that could lead us into evil.

2 Corinthians 6:14–18 (NKJV) — 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

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Daily Wisdom 73: Proverbs 4:13

Proverbs 4:13 (NKJV) — 13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life.

Instruction is life. Some people develop such a distaste for instruction that they cannot wait to stop learning. But instruction is life! Life is a great learning process, a vast school. The person who stops learning will be frustrated and thwarted, with a sense of aimlessness and purposelessness.

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Daily Wisdom 72: Proverbs 4:12

Proverbs 4:12 (NKJV) — 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble.

Wisdom provides a firm, solid footing. When people walk in wisdom, they will not stumble through life, lurching from one failure to another. They will not feel pressured, tense, and confined. They will have liberty, freedom, and joy.

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Daily Wisdom 71: Proverbs 4:11

Proverbs 4:11 (NKJV) — 11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths.

Different ways; different paths. There is a “way of wisdom” to follow and there are “right paths” to take. Clearly, there must also be a “way of ignorance” and “wrong paths,” but neither David nor Solomon thought it necessary to teach error in order to equip their sons to deal with it. They taught what was right. When truth alone is taught, error is readily recognized when it presents itself.

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Daily Wisdom 70: Proverbs 4:10

Proverbs 4:10 (NKJV) — 10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many.

Like the fifth commandment, the admonition to hear one’s father and to receive his sayings is accompanied by the promise of long life.

Exodus 20:12 (NKJV) — 12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Ephesians 6:1–3 (NKJV) — 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

The Law of Moses promised long life as a reward for honoring one’s parents, and Solomon wrote during the era of the Law. Even though Christians are not under the Law of Moses as a rule of life, obedience to parental authority may result in long life because to obey one’s parents may tend to spare a person from many foolish and disastrous mistakes, both natural and spiritual, that take lives and shorten life-spans.

Romans 6:14 (NKJV) — 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Romans 7:4 (NKJV) — 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Romans 7:6 (NKJV) — 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 10:4 (NKJV) — 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Galatians 3:10–13 (NKJV) — 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 5:1–4 (NKJV) — 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Hebrews 8:6–7 (NKJV) — 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

Hebrews 10:9 (NKJV) — 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

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