Remember

selective focus photography of red poppy flower
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
Proverbs 3:1‭-‬2 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/pro.3.1-2.ESV

I’m a naturally forgetful person. My brother on the other hand has a good memory. I used to tease him that he was imagining memories that I had no recollection of! But when it comes to Biblical teaching, it’s important to remember what we learn from God.

We are encouraged here to take the commandments of Scripture to heart. In summary these are to love God and others. The new testament adds that we should love others as Christ has loved us.

If we live wise, good, loving, thoughtful lives; we’re likely to have longevity. As with most proverbs, this is a generalism rather than a hard and fast rule. Ultimately our hope is not to live seventy, eighty, a hundred years, but to have eternal life in the presence of our God and Saviour.

We’re also promised peace. We might live in a war torn country, but peace in our hearts is priceless. If we’re at peace with ourselves and our God, we’re likely, as far as it depends on us, to live at peace with others as well.

“King of heaven, we praise You for giving the Prince of Peace to dwell in our hearts by His Holy Spirit. May we live wise, good and thoughtful lives, for Your honour and praise, amen”

Advertisements

Good

photo of a man wearing black leather jacket
Photo by Simon Robben on Pexels.com

So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.
Proverbs 2:20‭-‬22 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/pro.2.20-22.ESV

Wisdom teaches us something greater than herself, and that’s goodness. In the Bible you can’t be a wise, bad person. The two words are oxymorons in God’s vocabulary.

Wisdom teaches us that there’s two ways to live. Firstly there’s God’s good way. Secondly there’s our bad way. They say that all roads lead to God, and in the sense He’ll judge us all that’s true. But there’s two destinations hinted at here.

The two destinations in these verses are life and death. But because this is a spiritual book, it’s not just about whether your physical heart’s beating. It’s about eternal life and the spiritual death of banishment from all God’s blessings.

Wisdom and folly are like two aspects of good and evil. If we’re wise we’ll be good; if we’re foolish we’ll be evil. The meek will inherit the earth, as Jesus promised. But wrongdoers will be cut off, and, were it not for God’s grace, we would be too.

“Heavenly Father, we’re thankful that although we are naturally foolish and bad, we can gain wisdom and integrity through faith in Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. May it be so, for His glory, amen”

Adultery

affection beautiful blur couple
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed; none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life.
Proverbs 2:16‭-‬19 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/pro.2.16-19.ESV

Adultery is epidemic in the world, so much so that people are desensitised to how poisonous it is to the family, the building block of society. Wisdom, if we have it, delivers us from adultery before we start down that road of lustful flirtatiousness. Even if the lusty flirtation is initiated by the other party, wisdom would have us to resist uncalled for advances.

Because the writer is addressing his son, he warns him against an adulteress, but it could just as well be a mother warning her daughter about an adulterer. There’s something tragic about someone who abandons their childhood sweetheart. But it’s even worse to break covenant with the God we profess to believe.

Even within the church, too often adultery is whitewashed, especially once the dust has settled. But the writer of the Proverbs is under no illusions that adultery leads to death. Okay, it’s rare for someone to contract an STD and die from adultery, but adultery tends to be a spiritual death sentence, which is a fate worse than death.

Proverbs often deals in generalisms, not necessarily exceptionless rules. So despite what Solomon seems to be suggesting, adultery isn’t the unforgivable sin that inevitably leads to spiritual death. But that’s the general rule. Why would we forgo eternal life for a fleeting buzz?

“Oh Judge of all the earth, may we heed the warning of these verses to avoid adulterous people and the temptation to commit adultery. Help us to be under no illusions as to how fatal adultery usually is to spiritual life, for Jesus’ sake, amen”

Darkness

gray light post
Photo by Jennifer Hubacher on Pexels.com

delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil, men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.
Proverbs 2:12‭-‬15 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/pro.2.12-15.ESV

Wisdom isn’t just good for its own sake, but also as an alternative to what is Biblically unwise, namely evil. Biblical wisdom is good; foolishness is bad. Wisdom delivers us from the way of evil that leads to destruction.

Wisdom keeps us from bad company. If we’re wise we’ll think twice about who we spend time with. We’ll avoid people who use bad language. But it’s not just about avoiding people with perverse speech but perverse actions as well. People tend to practice what they preach so if someone speaks a load of rubbish they’re probably up to no good as well.

If we’re wise, we won’t delight in evil. Furthermore we’ll steer clear of those who do so. As the new testament puts it- don’t be yoked with unbelievers, for what does light have to do with darkness?

If we’re on the path of life, we won’t unnecessarily spend time with people on the wrong path, the broad road that leads to destruction. It’s almost like Jesus paraphrased these verses when He urged people to go on the narrow way that leads to Him. The ways of darkness lead to the outer darkness where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Oh Lord our God, please keep us on Your path of life and don’t let us get led astray by evildoers. For the glory of Your name, amen”

Guard

royal guard standing near lamp post
Photo by Samuel Wölfl on Pexels.com

for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you,
Proverbs 2:10‭-‬11 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/pro.2.10-11.ESV

As Jesus said, “ask and it shall be given to you”. When we ask God in faith for wisdom, He plants it in our hearts. Biblically, the heart isn’t necessarily a lump of flesh in our chest, but the very core of our beings.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote of the wearisomeness of too much study and the sadness of too much knowledge of this weary world. But knowledge of God, and spiritual truth is what He writes of here. To know that God loves us and to have a relationship with Him as our heavenly Father is pleasant to the soul.

The narrator promises his child that if they seek wisdom, discretion will watch over them. Intellectuals aren’t renowned for their people skills. But if we’re spiritually wise, we’ll be discreet in how we relate to others, and discretion will watch over us.

If we find wisdom, we will also find that understanding will guard us. Having the right understanding of how to deal with adversity helps us to navigate life in this treacherous world. Sadly, Solomon’s own son Reheboam lacked understanding on how to be king, and his kingdom was torn in two.

“Father God, may Your promises in these verses come true in our lives. May we be those who seek and find wisdom, and have it to watch over and guard us throughout our lives. For the delight of Your heart, amen”

Understanding

two person walking on pathway between plants
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;
Proverbs 2:9 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/pro.2.9.ESV

Biblical wisdom isn’t just about cerebral knowledge. Some kind of evil genius isn’t wise as far as the Bible is concerned. True wisdom enables you to understand righteousness, what is good and right.

Biblically, justice isn’t simply judicial, it’s much wider and more holistic than that. It’s about wisely living justly- which includes looking out and caring for those worse off than ourselves. To be just means to have personal integrity.

To be equitable means to not show favoritism and to treat everyone fairly. It doesn’t necessarily mean to treat everyone the same. After all, some people are less well off and need more help in life.

The ultimate good path into which all other good paths merge is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life. He is the one we are to deny ourselves for, to take up our crosses and to follow along the narrow path which leads to eternal life. Wisdom leads us to Christ, for there is no wisdom outside of Him.

“Heavenly Father, may You lead us in paths of wisdom for Your name’s sake. Let us live well, justly and equitably as we follow Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray, amen”

Path

alone autumn mood forest cold countryside
Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
Proverbs 2:7‭-‬8 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/pro.2.7-8.ESV

God isn’t miserly. He has an inexhaustible treasury of wisdom for the upright in heart. None of us are perfectly upright, but if our hearts have been put right by God, we find in Him all the reserves of wisdom we could ever desire. All we need to do is ask!

Not only is God like a vast library of wisdom for the believer, but He is also a shield to those who walk in integrity. He’s like an antivirus for our souls. If we keep the antivirus updated as it were, if we maintain that relationship with God, He’ll keep us safe. We will still meet adversity, but God will shield us from harm.

God guards the paths of justice. If we walk justly, looking out for those who are worse off than us, God as it were rolls our a guard of honour to accompany us along life’s perilous way. This is great incentive not to give up on doing the right thing and going the right way in life.

The Lord watches over the way of His saints. He’s not like some divine CCTV which might record something bad happening to us but does nothing to help us in that moment. He’s the God of the angel armies who employs them to serve us along our way.

“Dear Lord, You sovereignly watch over our ways and we thank You for Your almighty care of us through all of our ways. Please keep us on Your narrow way, until we reach Your heavenly home, in Jesus’ name, amen”