by Charles and Norma Ellis
1Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
3For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
10Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
11I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
12When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
13Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
Solomon pays real tribute to David his father who truly loved him and taught him to seek wisdom. We can glean from this picture something which would contribute toward Solomon's choosing from God the gift of wisdom for himself.
Now Solomon is passing this advice on to his children. 'Get wisdom. Get understanding' (4:5). What does he mean by wisdom? Certainly this is not a mere worldly wisdom. With this section we must compare chapter 1, verse 7, and other verses like it: 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.' This is a wisdom which is based upon an understanding of God the Creator-Sustainer-Redeemer. This is what we are to strive for and to enjoin our children to strive for.
In all our education as people of God we work from the presupposition of the existence of God, the God who reveals Himself in Scripture. We cannot have true knowledge or the wisdom to utilize it unless we begin with God.
This orientation is a major element in the genius of the Christian School. If children are in such an educational system and atmosphere they will be learning by the power of the Spirit of God that the fear of the Lord is the basis of all true thinking.
If our children are not in this kind of a school, what an added responsibility we have! Our efforts at home and in the church have to be even more assiduously geared toward the undergirding of the child for the task of approaching with Christian presuppositions all the subject matter of the classroom and of the world at large. He needs to be shown how to weigh, consider and analyze whatever he meets and be able to see the fallacies resulting from beginning with another premise.
Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life!' (4:13)
We are happy to have obtained permission to post as our current daily devotional Heirs Together of Life: Daily Bible Reading for Husbands and Wives, published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Don't be misled by the subtitle. As the book's "Preface" indicates (see below), although Heirs Together of Life is "especially prepared for couples,"the authors declare, "Since the basis for this guide is God's Word, we believe it would have value for any reader."
Charles and Norma Ellis are husband and wife and the authors not only of Heirs Together of Life (which was first published in 1980 and continues in print today), but also of Wells of Salvation (first published in 1985, and likewise still in print today). The latter contains a series of short studies covering the entire book of Isaiah, while the former contains a series of almost 200 short studies covering the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Both books by the Ellises can be ordered from the publisher, The Banner of Truth Trust. We trust that these daily Bible readings, posted daily on our site, will be helpful to you in your Christian walk before God. Whether married or not, all of us are members of families and members of the family of God.
Charles Ellis was educated at Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary. Upon graduation from Westminster (where he earned not only a Th.B. but also a Th.M.), he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and pastored a number of OPC churches, including Immanuel OPC in West Collingswood, New Jersey; First OPC in Cincinnati, Ohio; Covenant OPC in East Orange, New Jersey; Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. Less biographical information is available about his wife, but it is known that they served as parents of seven children. After retiring from the ministry, Charles Ellis went to be with the Lord in 2003, but he and his wife left us with a beautiful legacy in the two books they have given to the world, and we are proud to share the daily Bible readings from Heirs Together of Life here with you.