Home » On Proverbs » Wise Words: Do Everything Right! – On Proverbs 4:20-27

Wise Words: Do Everything Right! – On Proverbs 4:20-27

A godly man is not without his sin. We briefly looked at that yesterday. We humans are very susceptible to deviancy to the wrong path in life. At the end of chapter four Solomon wants to warn against apathy and thoughtlessness. He repeats his words of admonishment and gives some practical ways to follow them.

20 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.”
We mustn’t roll our eyes at reading this again. If it gets repeated enough, maybe we will see how important it is to obey this guy’s words. After-all, his words are “life” and “health to [the] flesh” of those who keep them.
Often we think we can live our lives apart from God’s grace and laws. Very quickly, however, we find that we are hurting others and ourselves, and being discouraged about all our failings.
Solomon knows this and we should too.

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
When the Bible refers to the heart of a man, it literally means the centre of our thoughts and decisions, and not so much our emotional feelings. We think about our actions before we live them out, so it’s prudent to “keep [our] heart” and know to correct our wrong thinking before we act on it.

24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.”
Following on from talking about our heart, we see that if we think perverse thoughts they will come out of our mouths as sinful words. In the book of James (in the latter part of chapter 3), the writer talks about our tongue being lit with the very fire of hell in it’s destructive power. Solomon says to put such sin away from us!

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.”
Our eyes, too, have problems with sin and the idea of a straight path highlights the importance of not looking or turning away from the path of obedience. Just as you look ahead when you walk on a pedestrian path, making sure you won’t stumble on a crack or collide with someone else, so it is with the path of life. Our eyes guide the feet, and the feet guide the rest of the body. We are exhorted to remove our feet from evil, and not to stray from the path of obedience.

Wise words are kind of like pointers to our failings. We know what we must do because of them, but realise our inability to keep them. Life must be travelled with a trust in God’s grace by Jesus Christ. Jesus secured our full acceptance by God, and allowed us to live in constant forgiveness and hope. Knowing that He has done this for us gives us the desire to live as Solomon says we must. Amen

Pondering: Who is Jesus Christ? How can what He did make it possible to live like Solomon urges?

Note: Scripture taken from http://www.biblestudytools.com/

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