How Wisdom Will Keep You Out of Trouble

Dr. Howard Hendricks tells of a professor who made an impact on his life. He passed his home many times, early in the morning and late at night, and often saw him pouring over his books. One day, Hendricks asked him, “Doctor, I’d like to know, what is it that keeps you study … More


Wisdom will keep us out of trouble. In (vv 10-13) we have the ways of wisdom, (vv 14-17) the ways of wickedness and a summary in (vv 18-19) of both distinctions. We can’t help but notice that the beginning of this chapter said to listen to the father, (v. 1) and again (v. 10) says to hear or listen. Also (Prov. 13:1) says a wise son heareth his  father’s instruction. It is very important that children listen and then obey their parents. God tells children to do this in (Eph. 6:1) and also (Col. 3:20).  The results from heeding his father’s words would result in a long life (v. 10). Notice in (vv 14-15) the instruction given to stay clear of the path of the wicked:

  1. “Enter not”
  2. “Go not in”
  3. “Avoid it”
  4. “Pass not by it”
  5. “Turn from it”
  6. “Pass away”

The reason for urgency is because wicked people are so taken up with their evil that they cannot sleep until they hurt someone. Sin is so much a part of them that it is like their nourishment and food. The way of wisdom is light while wickedness is characterized by deep darkness.


Am I separating from the evil ways and avoiding the path that leads to darkness and sin? Is there anything in my life that needs to be cleansed by the Word?

Proverbs 4:10-19 (English Standard Version)

Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »