Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
There is a great woman who will protect you from pain and trouble in life. Every man needs her, for his life depends on his relationship to her. She is perfect and beautiful, yet available to any man. He must not forsake her, and he must love her. If he meets these simple conditions, she will look out for him and cause him to prosper. She will keep and preserve him from failure. Who is this woman? She is the wonderful Lady Wisdom.
Young men think a lot about women, so David personified wisdom as a woman to get his son’s attention with this enticing figure of speech. It is David’s literary creation here, for Solomon had just described his childhood, “For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also-” (Pr 4:3-4). Solomon encouraged his son by appealing to the relationship and training he had received from his father.
We understand David’s instruction to Solomon to begin at Proverbs 4:4, but it is harder to determine where its ends and Solomon’s resumes. Consider this wonderful endorsement of the book of Proverbs! The illustrious David contributed to its valuable content both directly by composing proverbs and indirectly by teaching Solomon. The man who neglects such a book, who forsakes Lady Wisdom, is choosing to be a failure in life.
Americans appreciate the idea of a great woman protecting them, for they have in New York Harbor the grand figure of Lady Liberty holding aloft her torch to light the way for the tired, poor, huddled, and homeless masses, yearning to breathe free. She has been a beacon of freedom to millions of immigrants and a sign of safety to returning soldiers. Her words are encouraging; her image is impressive; and the combination is powerful. A wise reader will consider David’s words, visualize the metaphor, and accept the lesson.
Your life depends on how you treat the wisdom you are offered. Your parents taught you wisdom first. After that, teachers and pastors attempted to teach you. But most of all, wisdom is found in the pages of the Bible, which is where the God of heaven has revealed the rules for you to have a successful and prosperous life and eternity (Deut 29:29; Ps 19:7-11; 119:98-100,104,130; Isaiah 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5; II Tim 3:16-17; 4:1-4).
You make many choices daily that have short and/or long-term consequences. Life is like walking through a mine field. A wrong step here, or a wrong step there, will bring loss, pain, or trouble. Life is like a maze, missing the right turns will hinder you from realizing God’s best for your life. But God has offered you a special guide through life’s mine field and an expert through life’s maze to the prize of the best life possible – Lady Wisdom!
If you forsake the wisdom your parents, teachers, and the Bible offer, then you will suffer the painful consequences of a foolish life. But if you will hold and love wisdom, it can deliver you from the dysfunctional difficulties that most live with every day. The lesson is simple. What will you do with wisdom? What have you done today with the book of wisdom, the Bible? Have you humbled yourself before its understanding and truth?