Proverbs 1:4 (Mini Sermon)


4. Pro 1:4 - "To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion." A. This verse gives the final reasons that Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs. B. To give subtilty to the simple. i. Subtlety n. - 1. Of persons, the mind, its faculties or operations: Acuteness, sagacity, penetration: in modern use chiefly with implication of delicate or keen perception of fine distinctions or nice points. ii. A man endued with subtilty has a mind that is sharp and keen which can penetrate through complex and convoluted ideas and perceive fine distinctions which are key to discerning the truth of the matter. iii. Simple n. - 1. a. As pl. Persons in a humble or ordinary condition of life. 2. a. As pl. Those who are unlearned, ignorant, easily misled, unsuspecting, etc. 1611 Bible Ps. cxix. 130 The entrance of thy wordes+giueth vnderstanding vnto the simple. b. As sing. An ignorant or foolish person. iv. To "know wisdom" and "perceive the words of understanding" (Pro 1:2) requires that the mind be subtle, able to sort through false and extraneous information to find the truth hidden therein. v. The simple-minded have no such ability (Pro 17:24). vi. The simple don't have a focused mind capable of penetration and keen perception. a. They are instead scatter-brained, chasing every thought that skips across their feeble mind. b. The average person today truly thinks very little, if at all. vii. How can the simple man rectify his problem and become wise? viii. The solution is simple: read the Proverbs and meditate therein (Jos 1:8; Psa 1:2). ix. God's word gives understanding to, and makes wise, the simple (Psa 19:7; Psa 119:130). C. To the young man knowledge and discretion. i. Man is born with a problem: stupidity (Pro 22:15). ii. Man's default intellectual state is ignorance, which is why the scriptures exhort parents to "train up a child in the way he should go" (Pro 22:6), and fathers to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph 6:4). a. Parents must do their part to educate their children when they are young, but every young man is himself responsible to "get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding" (Pro 4:7). b. Where should the young man look to find knowledge and wisdom? -- the word of God (Psa 119:9). c. Reading the proverbs, which are part of God's word, will give the young man "more understanding than all [his] teachers" when they are his meditation, and cause him to "understand more than the ancients" when he keeps them (Psa 119:99-100). iii. Along with lacking knowledge, the young man also naturally lacks discretion. a. Discretion n. - I. 1. The action of separating or distinguishing, or condition of being distinguished or disjunct; separation, disjunction, distinction. II. 2. The action of discerning or judging; judgement; decision, discrimination. III. 6. Ability to discern or distinguish what is right, befitting, or advisable, esp. as regards one's own conduct or action; the quality of being discreet; discernment; prudence, sagacity, circumspection, sound judgement. b. A short survey of the decisions and actions of youth thoroughly proves that young men lack discretion. c. One need only consider the friends, lovers, food, and entertainment chosen by the average youth, uninfluenced by his parents and the word of God, to consent wholeheartedly to this truth. d. The solution to this problem is reading and studying the book of Proverbs which will give young people discretion to save them from the harmful influences of the world (Pro 2:1-6, 10-11).