Proverbs 4 – Wise Guy, huh?

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1 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
    pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
    so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
    still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
    “Take hold of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.

Proverbs 4:1-4 NIV

If you are new to Proverbs, here’s a brief synopsis. It’s a book of wisdom. How does one get to be a “wise guy?” Solomon tells us it’s experience. Live. His father gave him sage guidance for life when he was still young. The first piece of advice was this: “Listen to me, sonny!”

That’s right, the first wise thing a person learns from a wise person is to…listen to wise people.

If I needed to fix my car, I would want the advice of an expert. Solomon says he had his dad, King David, as his guide in learning to be wise. Scripture also teaches us that Solomon asked God for the wisdom to rule his people. (1 Kings 3:1-5) God gave him godly wisdom and also riches and power that he did not ask for.

The beginning of your journey in wisdom is to listen to those who’ve gone before you.

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This doesn’t mean that they are right just because they are older or more advanced. It does me we should not dismiss people and their guidance based on those two characteristics.

The advice and instruction goes further in verses 10-13.

10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.

Proverbs 4:10-13 NIV
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The truth is, we do become dismissive of the older generation, qualifying that they couldn’t possibly relate to or understand our situations. The truth is, they’ve been around long enough to see major life events twice (or more). They’ve got what we call “perspective” and it is perspective that helps them give wise advice. So next time your elder comes to you to tell you about something, some advice about your life…don’t roll your eyes and walk away. Take what they say into consideration and a grain of salt. Ultimately it is our responsibility what we do with wisdom.

Proverbs 1 – Comeuppance

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31 Days of Proverbs Devotional Reading

10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
    do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
    let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
    let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
    and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
    and fill our houses with plunder;
14 cast lots with us;
    we will all share the loot”—
15 my son, do not go along with them,
    do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into evil,
    they are swift to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net
    where every bird can see it!
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
    they ambush only themselves!
19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
    it takes away the life of those who get it.

Proverbs 1:10-19 NIV

There’s a lot of take in there. Yesterday we had mama’s advice and now we have a different king sharing fatherly advice to his son. It can be summarized like this: don’t hang out with goof balls. They will get what’s coming to them. You don’t want to be around them when it does.

It’s very clear to me that many times in literature and film, there is an protagonist (the hero) and the antagonist (villain.) Many times in these mediums, the climax of the story is one where the hero over comes the villain and the villain falls because of their general terribleness. Take the movie “The Incredibles” for instance. Near the end of the film, the “wanna be” superhero Syndrome has failed to destroy the Incredibles. So he does the next best thing: kidnap their infant child by flying away with him. Little did he know that Jack-jack (the child’s name) had been developing super powers. This freaks out his kidnapper and he drops the baby (mom and dad save him.) But Syndrome attempts to get away in a jet plane, his arrogant cape fluttering behind him.

Mr. Incredible tosses a car at the plane, damaging it and Syndrome is sucked backwards (by his cape) into the jet engine. It’s kind of morbid, especially for a kid’s movie. But we think to early in the film when it’s revealed that Syndrome had been killing super powered individuals just to advance his own technology to look like a super.


Solomon says don’t go along with people who have ill-intent. Don’t be pursued by villains. They might promise great things, equal share in the plunder. You will also get equal share when they get their “comeuppance.”

Now the bible doesn’t say, “What goes around comes around.” But Solomon’s no slacker. He’s seen this scenario play out and he doesn’t want that for his son. When we see destructive patterns in people, it’s best to not join in their “fun.”

For Such a Time as this (4) – Humility and Humiliation

I want to say thank you for tuning in today. I want you to know I appreciate you. I’ve been praying for you. We might know each other, we might not. But one thing is for certain: God knows you. God sees you. He loves you and at this very difficult time in our lives, he says “I want you to get to know me. Know my peace. My shalom.” God is saying peace when the whole world is saying panic. Let him be your peace today. May his shalom wash over you, not just as you engage in his word this morning, but always. 

This this is the first time you’re checking out the blog page, We’re in the middle of a series on Esther. You can read and listen to the previous 3 messages here on the blog. If you live in the Viroqua, WI area you can listen to our radio broadcast. 1360AM or 107.3FM, or Vernon Communications (cable channel) ch18 on your TV. The broadcast is on Sundays from 9-9:30 AM.

For Such a Time As This (4) – Humility or Humiliation

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