Proverbs 4:22 (NKJV) — 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
Words of life and health. The words of wisdom are more than mere human words. They possess life. They produce health in those who digest them. Instead of a vitamin deficiency, some people have a Word deficiency.
John 6:63 (NKJV) — 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Proverbs 4:21 (NKJV) — 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;
Reading, memorizing, meditating. Words of wisdom should be read regularly (“Let them not depart from your eyes”) and memorized and meditated upon (“Keep them in the midst of your heart”).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.