Solomon, the presumed writer, begins this passage with an admonition to his son to never forget the law and commands taught to him. The laws of God and wisdom will add peace to his long life. Mercy and truth will bring favor and high esteem if written on his heart. Some of the very best advice is included next:
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
The direction of the Lord is the benefit of trusting Him completely. He goes on to encourage his son not to be wise in his own strength, but to fear the Lord, which will bring health and strength. Solomon advises his son to tithe and give, so his barns will be full and his bats overflow. He finishes this section of Scripture with the following teaching:
11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor detest His correction;
12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
Solomon is showing his legacy of wisdom by offering his son(s) and daughters the opportunity to know its value and its rewards. The focus on wisdom shifts further toward the truth that real wisdom is from God. Wisdom for wisdom’s sake is valuable. However, reiterating that wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord puts it in the proper perspective. Verses 5 and 6 are the theme of how to prosper as a human being: “Trust the Lord!” To walk this globe without Him as Savior and Guide is possible, but the blessings gained are common or even ill-gotten. To walk with God as your source of wisdom, however, leads to spiritual depth and blessing that cannot be compared to worldly success or fortune. Trust in the Lord, accept God’s chastening, and be happy that His wisdom is your source of understanding!