The Word Made Fresh
1If you will listen to me, children,
and keep my instructions in your heart,
2and seek wisdom – that is how
you turn your life toward understanding –
3and if you seek understanding with all your heart
and call out to receive insight,
4if you desire it more than silver,
and search for it as a hidden treasure,
5then you will understand respect for the LORD
and you will discover knowledge of God.
6Only the LORD delivers true wisdom,
and teaches knowledge and understanding.
7The LORD sets aside sound wisdom for the obedient,
and protects those who live without blame,
8protecting the way of justice
and preserving the way of those who live blamelessly.
9Then you will have an understanding of righteousness,
and justice, and fairness, and every good way.
10Wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your life.
11Wisdom will protect you,
and knowledge will be your guard.
12And I will rescue you from those who are evil
and speak of doing perverse things.
13I will save you from those who turn their backs on the good
to pursue the paths of darkness.
14They celebrate their evil deeds
and take delight in their perverse behavior.
15Their way is crooked,
and their ways are devious.
16But you will be rescued from the adulteress
and her smooth words,
17for she has forsaken her husband
and has forgotten the vows she made.
18Her behavior leads to death;
her paths lead to the grave.
19Those who give in to her never return
nor even try to regain the right path.
20So, live the good life,
and remain on the paths of honesty.
21Those who live this way will inherit the land
and those who are innocent will always have it.
22But those who are wicked will be cast out of the land,
and those who are cheaters will be sent away.
1-15: The parenting course continues. The child is urged to seek wisdom with all due seriousness. The fear of the LORD is again upheld in verse 5 as the beginning of knowledge. The benefits of wisdom are catalogued; the primary benefit is that wisdom enables one to avoid the way of evil.
16-19: A great deal of ink is spent on warnings about the “loose woman,” the wife who entices others to her bed. Giving in to such temptations is a certain way to ruin one’s life.
20-22: In the book of Psalms, we saw the theme develop that the fate of the wicked is sealed and that theme is carried over into the book of Proverbs. The wicked are minions of counter-creation and God will not allow them to ultimately prevail.
This is a basic course for the children of rulers and, of course, God’s faithful people. Through the years I have observed that parents often don’t do a good job of teaching their children. It’s never too late, though. Do you have work to do?