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Take Hold of the Right Path
Proverbs 4:10-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
11 In the way of wisdom I have taught you;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
Hear, my son, and accept my words: The Hebrew verb (שָׁמַע shama) for hearing means more than simply taking in information through our ears; it also involves listening and paying attention, wherein we take notice of and act on (ready to obey) the teaching and thoughts of proverbs; responding to the advice and guidance that the proverbs contain. – Prov. 1:5; 4:10
That the years of your life may be many: If the son will trust in and seize on what he hears, he will enjoy many years of life.
In the way of wisdom I have taught you: In the way (דֶּרֶךְ derek) is a course of conduct, what is done, the manner in which you conduct yourself on this journey filled with life-choices that you make in this imperfect age of Satan’s world. The father is giving the son the way to go by way of wisdom. Wisdom: (חָכְמָה chokmah) is sound judgment, based on knowledge and understanding. It is the balanced application of that knowledge to answer difficulties, achieve objectives, sidestep or ward off dangers, not to mention helping others to accomplish the same. The wise person is often contrasted with the foolishness or stupid person. (Deut. 32:6; Prov. 11:29; Eccles. 6:8) Taught: (יָרָה yarah or יָרָא yara) means communicating or conveying knowledge. It means to teach, to instruct, give guidance, direct, that is, the one teaching is giving information either in a formal or an informal setting, which implies the authority of the teacher, as well as the content of the teaching. – Ex 4:12.
I have led you in the paths of uprightness: The Hebrew noun paths (מַעְגָּל magal or מַעְגָּלָה magalah) is figuratively referring to teaching as a well-worn path. It can all figuratively refer to the way you conduct yourself in life as a well-worn path. This conforms to the moral standard of God as you focus on the proper spiritual goals of life. The Hebrew noun uprightness: (יָשַׁר yashar) is the quality of one who conforms to God’s moral standards. He is honest in both his words and his actions to what is real. (1Ch 29:17; Job 6:25; Prov. 11:24; 17:26) The upright (יָשַׁר yashar) are God’s true believers, his holy ones, who are diligently seeking and searching to know, love, and obey God and to live righteously as one can within their human imperfection. – Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 5:12.
Solomon must have appreciated the loving discipline that gave his life the instruction he needed to walk with God, even correction that weeded out undesirable traits. Here again, Solomon is making his case that his sons do the same so that they may enjoy the years of their lives. More often than not, if these sons heed his voice and follow the paths of uprightness, they will not be hampered by the troubles in life that stumble so many others. Imagine the path of the wicked one, as his sinful ways trip him up at every turn. This will not be the case for the morally upright one, as his paths will be cleared of most of these obstacles, even to the point that he could break out into a run.