Reading through the Bible together
Solomon continues to talk to his son about the benefits and attributes of wisdom. In chapter 4, Solomon becomes even more forthright as he reflects on his childhood, and shares what his father passed on to him:
“Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
Keep my commands and you will live. (v. 4)
Get wisdom, get understanding; . . . . (v. 5)
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; . . . (v. 6)
Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom” (v. 7).
Whether these first few chapters were given to his son all in one sitting, or over a period of months, we don’t know. But one thing is certain: Solomon’s son was a blessed benefactor to Solomon’s wise counsel. In fact, one wonders whether he was able to take in all that Solomon had such a burden to share!
Apart from counseling his son to embrace wisdom, there are many other themes he brings out: wisdom brings protection, understanding, splendor, long life, and direction (vs. 6, 7, 9, 10, 11); do not eat the bread of wickedness (v. 17), guard your heart, the wellspring of life (v. 23), and to keep corrupt talk far from your lips (v. 24).
His confidence in wisdom’s (or God’s) blessing is expressed in the following promise:
“When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
When you run, you will not stumble.
“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
Guard it well, for it is your life” (vs. 12, 13.)
Had Solomon always heeded his own counsel, he would have never stumbled in his walk with God. (See 1 Kings 11:1-13).
May God’s word guide you today and keep you from stumbling.
Jackie Ordelheide Smith
Communication ManagerGeneral Conference Ministerial Association