This is very similar to believers staying separating themselves from unbelievers. We are called to be in the world, not of it because believers can be lured to the gods of this world. And I believe this happens a lot, even within the Church. I know I can be swayed from time to time also. I think we all can.
Anyway, in this proverb Solomon is admonishing others to listen to those who are wiser. Seek the truth. Know God's laws and commandments. Then you will be as wise as Solomon and be in God's favor. Seek wisdom above all and God will see to it everything else will fall into place. Although it is Solomon speaking, try to imagine it is God. Most of these words can certainly be His words to each of us. It was God who directed Solomon to write them.
(Solomon fell from God's graces and never returned to Him. Yet, God gave him wisdom in the beginning...to pass on to us. Like Solomon, we can fall after receiving this knowledge.)
I have underlined the phrases that stuck out for me.
1 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
2 For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
3 When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
4 He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
5 Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”
10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is taken away 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 just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.
Even after writing these words Solomon stepped off the path. We can all be vulnerable. It's why we must keep our eyes on God and His wisdom.
You see the good wisdom produces when done God's way. We so want to think otherwise though. We want to do it our way. I think of all the different ways we elevate people...in Hollywood, some televangelists, so-called prophets of God today, sports figures, singers. I'm not saying all are bad. I'm thrilled when a sports figure truly proclaims the glory to God, or we see evidence of true dedication to God in whatever arena they are in. I'm thrilled with true humility among these people.
God tells us it's not about us but about what He can do through us if we let Him. The first wise thing is seeking Him above all else. Relying on His wisdom and receiving instruction from Him. Then we will be on the right path. We will have the surest foundation in our life, the only good foundation, not the one that will sink in time.