Proverbs 4:9

She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

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Enhance your life and reputation like a prince. Make wisdom and understanding crucial (Pr 4:7-8). Solomon gave his children a rule his father had given him. David and Bathsheba had taught him to get wisdom above all else and to never forsake it (Pr 4:1-8).

No wonder Solomon knew what to ask, when God offered him anything he desired (I Kgs 3:5). His parents had taught him well. He knew wisdom was the most important commodity on earth. He did not ask for long life, wealth, women, the destruction of his enemies, or any other vain thing. He wanted wisdom and understanding (I Kgs 3:6-10).

Because of this incredibly prudent choice by Solomon, God gave him a wise and understanding heart greater than any other man’s (I Kgs 3:11-12). And the LORD also gave him riches, honor, and a long life as additional rewards for his very wise choice (I Kgs 3:13-14). Solomon was set in every way. And how? By putting wisdom first!

David knew about the importance of wisdom. After killing Goliath and entering public office, David’s reputation rose rapidly due to his great wisdom in conducting his affairs (I Sam 18:14-16). Compared to foolish and profane Saul, David was a paragon of virtue and wisdom. King Saul envied David, but Israel loved and exalted him (I Sam 18:28-30).

Parent, do you grasp this proverb? The most important thing you can teach your children is wisdom, which is the power of right judgment based on God’s word. It begins with the fear of the Lord (Pr 1:7; 9:10), and it builds on that by the word of God (Ps 19:7-10). It is learning to think, speak, and act as God would, which is plainly revealed in Scripture. David, the man after God’s own heart, knew how to think, speak, and act wisely.

If you emphasize academic education of your children, you have missed it. If you exalt their athletic achievements, you have missed it. If you praise their financial or professional successes, you have missed it. A wise and understanding heart comes from walking with God, learning Scripture, and applying it to life situations. It comes from meditating, obeying, and applying the Bible vigorously (Ps 1:1-3; 119:98-100; Heb 5:14).

What if your child gets a PhD., plays professional basketball, and plows his earnings into successful businesses that make him a billionaire? Has he achieved success? Have you helped him? No! No! Because none of these things will help him in the important matters of life, or help him secure the favor of God and good men (Pr 22:1; Luke 2:52).

Reader, what about you? Do you understand the importance of wisdom and understanding? Without them, you will have a dysfunctional life and die lonely. Grace and glory await those who will diligently seek wisdom (Pr 1:9; 3:22; 16:16; 18:1). How did you read this proverb? As a burden? With only casual interest? Or with craving zeal? How many minutes of this day have you dedicated to pursuing the wisdom of God?

You cannot cheat the laws of heaven. If you seek to find fulfillment or success by any other means, you will be sorely disappointed, and your whole life will be a painful experiment in vain and vexing futility. Seek wisdom and understanding from the preserved Scriptures of God and live a fulfilling and successful life. If you do not know how to get started, God will liberally answer your prayer for wisdom (James 1:5).

Howard Hughes had money, lots of it. But he ended his life a neurotic recluse and dysfunctional idiot. Princess Diana had popularity, lots of it. But her life was filled with loneliness, pain, and turmoil. Ty Cobb had athletic success, lots of it. But he spent his life hating, and being hated. These lives exemplify the horror of not seeking wisdom first.

John F. Kennedy, Jr. had great advantages and potential, but folly cut him short. Marilyn Monroe was a star, but her light was put out in obscure darkness. Elvis Presley was adored by pagans, but he died a bloated wreck in the prime of life. These few examples pursued sin to their hurt. They rejected wisdom, and life spat them out like poison.

David was youngest of eight sons and a shepherd, ignored by his own family when Samuel came to anoint a king from Jesse’s sons (I Sam 16:1-11). But God saw the inner workings of his heart and promoted him over all his brothers, Saul’s family, and every other man in Israel. David exalted wisdom, and it promoted him. He was loved by Israel (I Sam 18:16), Philistines (I Sam 29:9; II Sam 15:18-22), and famous kings (I Kgs 5:1).

David had wisdom far beyond right thinking, speaking, and acting. He had wisdom to see beyond this life and into the next. He saw and believed God’s promises in Jesus Christ, and it was in the sweet comfort of that wisdom he died (II Sam 23:1-5). The ultimate measure of folly is to exalt anything in this world without regard for the next. David saw his Son and his Lord, Jesus Christ, as the true object for both life and death (Ps 110:1).