Fame or Wisdom’s Fortune?

Opening Prayer

Lord, I pray for discernment to know which memories and “wisdom” to cherish from my early years, and which to avoid.

Read Proverbs 4:1–9

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
4 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.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”

Reflect

What wise advice do you recall from the home where you were raised? Have you followed it?

Quite possibly some of the origins of Proverbs lay in parental advice for someone who would follow as a leader in Israel, even as a future king. The collections of sayings have a broader focus than simply how to be a good king, but this section seems appropriate for a future king seeking to emulate the wisdom of King Solomon (if not his lifestyle!).

The New Testament describes us as children of a heavenly King, a “royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:9), and so while we may never wear an earthly crown, we have a heavenly one ready and waiting. Meanwhile wisdom crowns our lives with her own distinctive honors if we embrace not only knowledge of it but living by it (4–6).

There is much the world prizes—wealth, fame, the respect of others, a long and healthy life—and we probably wish much, if not all, of that for our own lives and those of our children and grandchildren. But there is one thing above all else that we should desire: loving God and walking in his ways—which Proverbs calls “wisdom.”

Apply

What do you value? Is it what God values? Seek to align your heart with God’s today.

Closing prayer

Lord, help me to discern what You want for my life.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Terry Schneider