In the fourth chapter of The Book of Proverbs, Solomon continues to impress upon his young audience the importance of pursuing a life of wisdom. He continues to esteem the value of wisdom as the path of obedience to God, as well as our own best self—interest. Wickedness, the opposing path, leads to perversion, confusion, and disillusionment.

In chapter 4, Solomon expounds on the depth and impact of these diverging paths.

One of the things he adds to his arsenal of instruction in Chapter 4 is a personal testimony. Solomon briefly describes how the ways of wisdom were passed to him from his father. Chapter 3 established that wisdom has been present from the very first moment of creation. Here in Chapter 4, Solomon shows the vitally important task of passing the way of wisdom to each subsequent generation.

In light of all of this, Solomon invites the youth to acquire wisdom. To do all he can to get wisdom and make it the foundational bedrock of his daily living. Seek it. Treasure it. Lean into it. Focus on it.

Wisdom is the true path. It is the only way to acknowledge reality and live in the abundance for which we have been created. When we make choices that align with this truth, we set ourselves in partnership with reality. And the benefits of doing so are vast and diverse.

On the other hand, wickedness leads to evil. If we lean into the ways of the wicked, we find ourselves on a dangerous path. Solomon asserts that both wisdom and wickedness are paths of actions. Choices. Neither wisdom nor wickedness are mere abstractions; they cannot be solely contemplated or perceived. They require action.

Wickedness leads to evil actions. Wisdom leads to righteous actions. Our perceptions inform our attitudes and our behavior. And there are consequences to each path—destructive ones for wickedness and life—bringing ones for wisdom.

Proverbs 4:1-6

Solomon continues to proclaim the value of wisdom by introducing a testimony from the time of his youth.

Proverbs 4:7-9

Proverbs 4:10-13

Solomon, having completed his testimony about how he received wisdom, goes on to explain what to expect from a life of wisdom.

Proverbs 4:14-19

Wickedness leads to evil just like wisdom leads to righteousness.

Proverbs 4:20-27

The heart is the source of life and we ought to fill it and guard it with wisdom, focusing our gaze and attention on the pathways of God.