【Bible Study】Proverbs 04: Whoever holds on to instruction is a wise man

Bible Study: Proverbs


Hello everyone, today we will study Proverbs chapter 4. This chapter is not easy to understand. I know I don’t have enough wisdom. But I will share with you what I found and also some testimonies.

I am going to give a title to this chapter “Whoever holds on to instruction is a wise man”. Holding on to instruction is very important. In Chinese, we can also translate this to “holding on to discipline”. Why would a student be disciplined by a teacher at school? Because there is something the student didn’t do correctly.

A person who is willing to be disciplined is a wise man. What is wisdom? It means you can be disciplined but still hold on to instruction. In chapter 4, Solomon first said:

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother. (Proverbs 4:1-3, NIV)

The author of Proverbs was Solomon, the son of king David. King David had many sons. If you read the Bible carefully, you will find that some sons, like Solomon, listened to their father, and some sons didn’t pay attention to their father’s instructions at all, like Absalom and Adonijah.

From my observation, I found that if a person can’t be disciplined by his parents or teachers at a very young age, he will become a fool when he gets older. The same thing happens in the church. If a person can’t be disciplined by his pastor or leader, he is a foolish person.

I give thanks to God, who gives me the wisdom to teach and train such kinds of people. They are willing to be disciplined when they do something wrong. Because I told them that this is true wisdom. Then slowly, they become wiser.

A Wise man will not talk back to his parents

What is wisdom? From this chapter, we know that a person who can be disciplined is a wise person. If their parents disciplined them, they wwould often talk back or argue with their parents. Those people are really foolish. They should think about this deeply. Who raised him? His parents, not himself. Some people still ask their parents for money even when they become an adult. Who are you to do these things?

Dear brothers and sisters, if you are in your parent’s favor, then you are a wise person. If your parents don’t like you, then you should rethink of what happened in the past. Because you didn’t pay attention to your parent’s instructions, and became a rebellious person. It’s an unfortunate thing for your parents, but also an unfortunate thing for yourself.

Our parents might not be perfect, but they still tried their best to raise us and gave the best that they could give. If we are picky with our parents and are always talking back to them, then it is not their problem. But it's because there are problems with our own thoughts.

A wise man will get along well with his parents

If we want to be a wise person, the first thing we need to do is to establish a good relationship with our parents.

When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother. (Proverbs 4:3, NIV)

The relationships between people are deliberately established. Some people I shepherded often told me how bad their mother or father is. At first, In the beginning I thought that they were telling the truth, and I felt bad for them.But later, I realized the problem. They only told me what happened from their perspectives, the real problem is that they didn’t know how to get along with their parents.

From now, we should decide to be wise people. From my shepherding experience in the past, among 100, 90 of them were rebellious. But nevermind. I always remind myself to pay attention to what God says and do what I should do. The words of God will comfort me and I will not feel sad.

Do you know how to apply wisdom and understanding to your life? It's simple. Establish a good relationship with your parents first. Some parents may be jerks, but thats not important, the most important thing is that you should learn to be a wise person. You shouldn't care about who other people are.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs4:23)

Whatever we do, we need to guard our hearts. As I talked about it before, king David had many sons, but in the end, Solomon was the one who became the king. Why? Because he listened to his father’s instructions and did what he was told.

If you want to be a wise person, you should hold on to your parents’ instructions. Maybe they don't do what they say, but what they said is actually good for you. You should keep them within your heart. For it is your life.

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. (Proverbs 4:10, NIV)

Hold on instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. (Proverbs 4:13, NIV)

He taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.”(Proverbs 4:4-5, NIV)

Summary: Holding on to instruction, you will gain wisdom and understanding

Wisdom and understanding are all related to discipline. Among the people I have shepherded, I let those people go if they didn't want to accept any discipline. We need to be careful when we shepherd these kinds of people.

I encourage you to hold on to instructions, do not let it go; guard it well, because it is your life. If you can hold on to instruction, and can also be disciplined, then you are a wise person.

Why do people need to be disciplined? Because humans like to set foot on the path of the wicked and walk in the way of the evil because it is part of their nature. People like to be selfish and greedy for money and profit.

People feel bad if they can’t get money or make a profit, then they will get sick. They come to me to pray for healing. But when they get healed, they turn back to their old lifes again, and then everything repeats. Then I found that the best treatment is to get rid of foolishness in their mind.

What I want to say is that there are evil things in human beings. If we don’t deal with those evil things and a person is not disciplined, he will become a fool. A fool will become an evil person, and an evil person will become a wicked person. Some people cannot sleep until they do bad things. And they always say wicked and perverse words and walk on the path of the wicked.

For they cannot sleep till they do evil; they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. (Proverbs 4:16-17, NIV)

They will all fall eventually, but they don’t know why they fell. Around us, there are some very smart people. They became the mayor, the premier of the province, or a state official. But they were greedy for money and accepted bribes. Then one day, they will find themselves in jail. They will make up a lot of excuses, but they will never regret what they did in the past.

What are the benefits of having a lot of money? Can a lot of money cure cancer? Of course not. Steve Jobs had a lot of money but he still died of cancer. If you think about making
money all day long, you will not live a happy life. That is why we need to pay attention to what God says and listen closely to God’s words. For this is life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.

Today I tell the sick among us that your illness is a clear proof that you have strayed from the word of God. Even though God will heal you, I will still telling you:

My son, pay attention to what I say; Listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left, keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:20-27, NIV)

This is called true wisdom and understanding. The main point is that you have to hold on to wisdom and instructions, you must be willing to be disciplined. Until today, I still thanked my father’s belt. When I was young, I didn’t study well and often skipped school. My father would whip me. Then after that, when my father stared me down, I would study hard and slowly I began to have the habit to study. Then I went to university.

Someone asked me: Pastor, who is “my son” in this chapter? It is you. Then whose son am I? You are the son of God. We have to pay attention to what God says and listen closely to his words because that is the most important thing in our lives.

By now we should know what is wisdom is: holding on to instructions and being able to be disciplined. This is the rule of wisdom.

May God bless you all.

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