Proverbs 4:5

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.


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What have you done, or will you do, today, to get wisdom and understanding? Solomon exhorted his son to get wisdom, remember wisdom, and follow wisdom. The great God has offered wisdom and understanding to simple men. Have you taken advantage of the gracious privilege? If you have even a small desire to learn this proverb, you are blessed.

There are three instructions in this proverb. To achieve your maximum success before God and men, you must get wisdom and understanding; you must not forget wisdom once you learn it; and you must not backslide away from obeying it. These duties would make Solomon’s son a great king, but they can also make you successful in your roles.

The first duty is to get wisdom and understanding. The only source document for wisdom on earth is the Bible, for any other source document is darkness (Is 8:20). The inspired Scriptures are perfect for teaching wisdom (II Tim 3:14-17). Pay attention to this more sure word and light (II Pet 1:19-21). It should be your daily delight (Job 23:12; Ps 19:10).

When Philip asked the eunuch if he understood what he was reading, the eunuch said, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:30-31). Philip preached Jesus to him; he was quickly baptized; and he went on his way rejoicing. God has given pastors and teachers to guide you in understanding His word (Neh 8:8; Mal 2:7; II Tim 2:2).

But without the blessing of God’s Spirit, neither reading the Bible nor hearing preaching will work. Paul prayed for the Ephesian saints to be enlightened by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know the things of God (Eph 1:17-18; Ps 119:18). God has promised to give wisdom and His Spirit liberally to those who ask for them (James 1:5; Luke 11:13).

Having used Scripture, ministers, and prayer to obtain wisdom and understanding, your second duty is to remember what you learned. Paul feared for the Corinthians, for they had forgotten his teaching about the resurrection (I Cor 15:1-2). It is your duty to meditate upon things you are taught and not let them slip away (Pr 6:20-22; Heb 2:1-4).

Holding wisdom tight in your memory, you must also obey it in conduct. You cannot decline from what you have been taught. Your third duty is to not backslide. You must hold tight the apostolic faith without wavering and not be moved away from the true gospel (II Thess 2:15; Heb 10:23). You must do what you hear, for hearing by itself does not please God, and hearing without doing is a sin (Jas 1:21-25; 4:17; Luke 8:11-18).

There would be no Roman Catholic Church, the mother church of abominations and false churches (Rev 17:1-6), if the apostolic church at Rome had stuck to scripture. The apostle Paul taught that the purpose of a local church is to help one another keep the faith (Heb 3:12-13; 10:24-25). Are you a faithful and zealous member of a true local church of Jesus Christ, where you can help others hold fast to wisdom and truth, and they can help you?