Pathways Through Proverbs
April 4, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 4
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Following Scripture Verses
- Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
- For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
- For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
- He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
- Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
- Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
- Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
- Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
- She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
- Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
- I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
- When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
- Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
- Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
- Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
- For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
- For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
- But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
- The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
- My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
- Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
- For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
- Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
- Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
- Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
- Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
- Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
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In verse 10 Solomon reiterates that he is speaking to his son. In verse 11 he reminds him that he has taught him wisdom and led him in right paths. I think that it is imperative for those of us who are in leadership positions, particularly within the home, to pay careful attention to these words.
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Solomon has been teaching correctly. He has told his son repeatedly throughout his life the difference between right and wrong. He has given him Biblical principles to base his life on. This is extremely important. We need to be giving verbal instruction to those whom God has placed under us. As parents and as church leaders it is our duty to proclaim the Word of God just as It is and make proper applications of It in our "students'" lives.
However, I really want to emphasize the second phrase in the verse. There Solomon says that he has led his son in the correct path. Teaching is wonderful, but leading is better. Solomon did not simply tell his son what to do, but he showed him what to do and personally led him. In order to lead someone, you must be going down that path ahead of him. The king chose to go down the right road himself, which allowed him to lead his son down the same road and help his son to understand the reality of what his dad was trying to teach him. The old adage, "Do as I say, not as I do" may be the norm in many Christian homes, but it wasn't in Solomon's house.
Are we teaching those for whom God has given us responsibility? More importantly, are we setting an example that backs up what we are teaching? True leadership requires going down the correct path first, so that others can follow you.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery