Father God, I bless You for bringing forth this great nation. May I be an enlightened and effective citizen.
Read Proverbs 4:1-9
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Wisdom is knowledge applied. Head knowledge is useless on the battlefield. Knowledge stamped on the heart makes one wise” (Beth Moore). This wisdom can be both handed down generationally and come to us directly from God.
This is the only occasion in these chapters where the address is aimed at “sons” in the plural. The context suggests that this refers to son and grandson. Solomon recalls the time when he received instruction from his father. He was young (3) and valued by his mother. This teaching is given in the context of a loving relationship in which both parents take responsibility for childrearing and education. Wisdom is handed down through the generations, representing the accumulated insight of the ages. Received wisdom may not be the last word, but it is folly to assume that we have nothing to learn from previous generations. We have more information and wider knowledge than our forefathers, but we do not always have the wisdom that helps us to live in right ways, build lasting relationships and find God.
The content of the address echoes previous ones. Wisdom is to be sought out and, when found, held on to. It is of ultimate value and worth sacrificing everything for. Verses 5-9 again depict wisdom as a woman, here in the role of a cherished wife and of a patron. She has the ability and the means to bestow honor on those who seek her and remain faithful to her. This both emphasizes the desirability of God’s wisdom and provides motivation for finding and holding it. With many “wisdoms” on offer, these verses are worth taking to heart. Turning to wisdom that does not come from God is seen as infidelity, a frequent picture of the broken relationship between God and his people (Jer. 3:1; Hos. 2:13). In losing wisdom we lose a valued partner and the benefits that she can bestow. Just as the adulteress offers much and delivers death so the world’s wisdom promises good things in the short term but fails the ultimate test.
Where might a greater attention to the wisdom of previous generations benefit your community, your church and your personal relationship with God?
Lord of the nations, Lord of this nation, I pray Your wisdom will be with our national, state and local leaders. May righteousness be the standard they serve by.