Allow me, please, today to encourage you to read Proverbs 4 and 5.
Read them carefully and thoughtfully with a listening heart.
The Word of our Father is for our good always; even when it smarts.
I am reading from the Complete Jewish Bible but if you prefer another translation by all means pick your favorite. I am offering you a LINK to Proverbs 4 and 5 for three translations: the CJB, NKJV, and NLT.
If you prefer to read from here, please find the CJB following.
4 Listen, children, to a father’s instruction; pay attention, in order to gain insight;
2 for I am giving you good advice; so don’t abandon my teaching.
3 For I too was once a child to my father; and my mother, too, thought of me as her special darling.
4 He too taught me; he said to me, “Let your heart treasure my words; keep my commands, and live;
5 gain wisdom, gain insight; don’t forget or turn from the words I am saying.
6 Don’t abandon [wisdom]; then she will preserve you; love her, and she will protect you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom! And along with all your getting, get insight!
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will bring you honor;
9 she will give your head a garland of grace, bestow on you a crown of glory.”
10 Listen, my son, receive what I say, and the years of your life will be many.
11 I’m directing you on the way of wisdom, guiding you in paths of uprightness;
12 when you walk, your step won’t be hindered; and if you run, you won’t stumble.
13 Hold fast to discipline, don’t let it go; guard it, for it is your life.
14 Don’t follow the path of the wicked or walk on the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, don’t go on it, turn away from it, and pass on.
16 For they can’t sleep if they haven’t done evil, they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining ever brighter until full daylight.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; they don’t even know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I am saying; incline your ear to my words.
21 Don’t let them out of your sight, keep them deep in your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them and health to their whole being.
23 Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences.
24 Keep crooked speech out of your mouth, banish deceit from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze on what lies in front of you.
26 Level the path for your feet, let all your ways be properly prepared;
27 then deviate neither right nor left; and keep your foot far from evil.
5 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding;
2 so that you will preserve discretion and your lips keep watch over knowledge.
3 For the lips of a woman who is a stranger drop honey, her mouth is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death, her steps lead straight to Sh’ol;
6 she doesn’t walk the level path of life —her course wanders all over, but she doesn’t know it.
7 So now, children, listen to me; don’t turn away from what I am saying:
8 distance your way from her, stay far from the door of her house;
9 so that you won’t give your vigor to others and your years to someone who is cruel,
10 so strangers won’t be filled with your strength and what you worked for go to a foreign house.
11 Then, when your flesh and bones have shrunk, at the end of your life, you would moan,
12 “How I hated discipline! My whole being despised reproof,
13 I ignored what my teachers said, I didn’t listen to my instructors.
14 I took part in almost every kind of evil, and the whole community knew it.”
15 Drink the water from your own cistern, fresh water from your own well.
16 Let what your springs produce be dispersed outside, streams of water flowing in the streets;
17 but let them be for you alone and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain, the wife of your youth, be blessed; find joy in her —
19 a lovely deer, a graceful fawn; let her breasts satisfy you at all times,
always be infatuated with her love.
20 My son, why be infatuated with an unknown woman? Why embrace the body of a loose woman?
21 For Adonai is watching a man’s ways; he surveys all his paths.
22 A wicked person’s own crimes will trap him, he will be held fast by the ropes of his sin.
23 He will die from lack of discipline; the magnitude of his folly will make him totter and fall.
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