My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:20-27
Give attention: cause to hearken, give heed, incline, mark well, regard, prick up the ears
Incline: incline the ear, of men (in obedience to God)
Keep: retain, of store up
Midst: center, middle
Heart: memory, mind
Find: thing sought
Health: a healing, profit
Keep: watch, guard
Diligence: act of guarding, (as a guard watches a prisoner)
Issues: the source
Life: sources (origin and direction) of life
Put away: turn off, be removed
Mouth: speech, bad qualities ascribed to it
Perverse: deviation, crookedness
Lips: speech, babbling
Eyes: mental and spiritual faculties, acts and states
Look: regard, show regard to, purpose
Straight ahead: right on, straightforward
Right: to be straight or even
Before: verb of motion, to go in front of oneself, i.e. straightforward
Ponder: make level, smooth, weigh (mentally)
Path: course of action, or life
Ways: manner moral action and character
Established: in moral sense, be directed aright, direct, faithfulness
Turn: decline, pervert
Remove: behead, eave undone, be without
Foot: journey, to walk along
Evil: ethically bad, wicked; distress, misery, calamity, grievous, to make (or be) good for nothing
As I read Proverbs 4:20-27, it made be think of a Dad giving advise to his son just as he ventures out for the first time on his own. Pure wisdom from someone who has been there.... done that, and found it to be worth it!
I think out of all the VERBS in this passage, the ones in Proverbs 4:26 were the ones I wanted to highlight here. Ponder. Be established.
Ponder, make smooth, weigh mentally —think about it, consider it thoroughly.
I like that word, as it describes what I do before making a decision. I research and research and study, and ask people, then do more research... then think about it, and do more research... I mentally try to think through all aspects of the decision and the results of making that decision.
The question becomes, do I give that same diligence to my life in general and take Wisdom (true God-given wisdom) into account? Do I practice pondering?
The next verb: Be established. Direct. Faithful. I think of being set in cement. Firm in moral action and character. Faithful to following God's standards in all I do and say. Faithful to obedience. Do I execute being established?
Practice Pondering. Execute being Established. Both begin with a heart that is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). For God and His wisdom are what I'm to be pondering and what is used to establish my standards for living.