Maybe it was the start of a new school year … or being in the middle of a major home improvement project which is testing not only my strength and endurance, but my ability to learn new “do it yourself” skills … I felt led to begin, next, a study of the book of Proverbs. However … there is never a time in my life … any day … in which I don’t need more wisdom and understanding.
Wisdom and understanding.
If you think about it, what better way to start your day (there’s that rhyme again!) than by consulting the book of Proverbs. But then, there’s not a day that goes by, when I don’t need more wisdom and understanding. When I need all the help I can get to “think right, do right.” I was watching the Thursday Night Football pregame show, and of course, much of the discussion was not about football, but players’ actions off of the field. I found it interesting that host James Brown, in addressing recent news events, challenged all men to take the lead in their “thoughts, words, and deeds.” Almost like he’d been reading our cards.
We’ve written much about how impossible it is to control our thoughts, words, and deeds without the Word of God, and prayer. Every day. And, how important it is to get your day started
right, with both.
Wisdom and understanding. God’s Word and prayer. To get both, you need both.
I have written much about the importance of wisdom and understanding, using not just the book of Proverbs, but all of Scripture.
God has really impressed upon me the importance of Proverbs 4:5-9, leading to the title, “Before You Get Success-You Must Get This-First.” These early verses in Proverbs explain what real success is … and how to get it. And … perhaps even more important: How to keep it. It all begins with wisdom and understanding. It really struck me how critical these two words are to success in every area, every part of your life, every day. Often, when we think of success on the job, we think of the word “promotion.” Even that is included within this passage.
Here are the words, directly from Proverbs 4:5-9:
“Get wisdom and understanding: forget it not … Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”
To really get the picture, to really understand the words, I paraphrased this passage, and it really made the whole process so clear to me. It is amazing how clear the message is:
“Get wisdom and understanding:
Do not forget wisdom and understanding.
Do not forsake wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding shall preserve you: Love wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding shall keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding. Exalt wisdom and understanding, and wisdom and understanding shall promote you:
Wisdom and understanding shall bring you to honor, when you embrace wisdom and understanding.
Wisdom and understanding shall place on your head an ornament of grace:
Wisdom and understanding shall deliver to you a crown of glory.”
When you study Scripture, to fully understand the particular passage you are studying, you must always read what comes before, and after, the passage.
Before this passage, there are these words:
“Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live” (Proverbs 4:4).
And, after the passage, “Hear … and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many” (Proverbs 4:10).