*Summary of The Message (MSG) version*
1-2: Listen friends, it’s fatherly advice, pay attention to know how to live. I’m giving good counsel. Don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.
This reminds me of the fact that Jesus calls us friend (John 15:15) and through, his crucifixion and resurrection, we are the children of God (Romans 8:15). We have to listen. Not just hear.
3-9: As a boy at his father’s knee and his mother’s pride and joy, my father sat me down and drilled me. My father told me to take his words to heart, do what I tell you-live. Sell all and buy wisdom. Forage for understanding. Remember my words and don’t deviate an inch. Never walk away from wisdom because she guards your life. Love wisdom because she keeps her eye on you. Get wisdom above and before all. Get understanding should be written at the top of your list. Throw your arms around her, you won’t regret it. Never let her go and your life will be glorious. She will garland you life with grace, festoon your days with beauty.
This, and parts of Chapters 1-3, reads like a love letter to wisdom and understanding. Illustrations are always, at least to me, beneficial. They teach in ways that just saying the words don’t. The importance of wisdom and understanding are really being driven home by the author.
10-15: Dear friend, taking my advice will add years to your life. Clear directions to wisdom way are written. A map to righteous road is being drawn. I don’t want you in blind alleys, wasting time with wrong turns. Hold onto good advice, don’t loosen your grip. Guard it well because your life is at stake. Don’t take wicked bypass or set foot on that road. Steer clear of it, give a wide berth, detour and be on your way.
I mean, some of it is repetitive. But, the author clearly wants to make sure we get it. I dig it. There isn’t much to say. I will say. this reminds me of the Scripture that talks about the wide gate and broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13)
16-17: Evil people don’t rest unless they are making trouble. They can’t sleep at night unless they’ve made life miserable for others. Their food and drink is perversity, their drug is violence.
Misery loves company.
18-19: The ways of people who live right glow with light, they shine brighter the longer they live.
This made me think of “he beautifies the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4 KJV); “with long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:16 KJV).
20-22: Dear friend, listen well to my words, tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message with you at all times. Concentrate, learn it by heart. People who discover them live, really live, body and soul, bursting with health.
The author is concentrating on the heart as well as wisdom and insight. The heart matters. Another scripture came to mind when I read this. And it just so happens to be verse 23…shocker no shocker.
Keep vigilant watch over your heart because life starts there. Don’t talk out of both sides of the mouth. Don’t engage in careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes forward, ignoring all sideshow distractions. Watch where you walk and the road will be smooth before you. Don’t look right or left, leaving evil in the dust.
See. The heart matters. Seeing as this Scripture is familiar and matters to me, I’m not surprised it popped in my head (Ion have the book, chapter, and verse memorized…) after reading the verse before it. There isn’t much more to be said based on the straightforwardness of the verse. Buuuuuut. Isaiah 45:2: I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. Tuh.