Last post we talked about how commands and promises are tied together. We said that obedience is not EARNING Grace but PROVING our salvation. If we want the promise we must meet the prerequisites! This week, the verses kind of break down like this: two ways of living are presented; and then they are compared. "Prov. 4:10-13 describe the way of wisdom; Prov. 4:14-17 describe the way of the wicked; and Prov. 4:18-19 present a comparison of the two ways.
Vv10-13 The Way of Wisdom
10- This is basically saying the same thing as we started last week. PR 3:1,2 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you.
Remember, last week we said that this isn’t necessarily a promise of many years, but quality if years! This is a promise of a life worth living if we are obedient. Last week we looked at Lk 11:28 where Jesus say blessing do not come from merely hearing the Word, but hearing it AND KEEPING IT!
11- “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom”, and so it will be found to be at last. “I have led thee” not in the crooked ways of carnal policy, which does wrong under colour of wisdom
“right paths” agreeable to the eternal rules and reasons of good and evil.”
12- NKJV “hindered” KJV “straitened” NASB “impeded” NIV “hampered” The root word means to press or narrow; it means to be distressed, narrowed, straitened. Not “straightened”, but straitened = to put into difficulties!
Proverbs is saying that the road of the wise will be narrow and not distressed! Jesus said something similar Mt 7:14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Christianity should teach us to keep out of embarrassments. A Christian ponders their paths, and carefully poises occurring circumstances; and as the fear of God will ever lead them to act an upright and honest part, so their way in business and life is both clear and large!
13- “Take firm hold” seize it strongly, and keep the hold; and do this as for life. Learn all you can, retain what you have learned, and keep the reason continually in view! 1Co 15:1, 16:13 Paul talks about “standing in faith”
Do we do that today? Do we hold firm to our Gospel and stand firm in our faith? I DON’T THINK SO!! We live in a time when it is easier and more acceptable to COME OUT OF THE CLOSET than it is TO CLEAN THE CLOSET!! Today’s Christian will allow a person to believe they can get to heaven without baptism, homosexuality is biblically acceptable, and it’s OK if you tell me not to pray in Jesus name!!! THAT’S NOT WISE!
14-17 The Way of The Wicked
“Do not enter the path of the wicked” Never associate with those whose life is irregular and sinful; never accompany them in any of their acts of transgression.
Vv14,15 Do not enter… do not walk… Avoid it… do not travel… Turn away from it… pass on
The object of all these impressive verbs is the way of the wicked. There is no way that language could more forcibly warn God's servant against the way of wickedness.
Vv16,17 These verses exhibit the extreme depravity and wickedness of hardened sinners. In a metaphor they are said to eat the bread of wickedness and to drink the wine of violence. They cannot sleep unless they have first exerted themselves in the perpetration of evil; and upon those days when they have not caused someone to fall, they cannot sleep at all! The Bible does not hide the fact that one can become just as zealous for evil as for good. Iniquity of the worst kind can become the food and drink of those who depart from the way of Truth.
Vv18,19 The Comparison
There is nothing in these verses that is hard to understand or that requires any emphasis from scholarly comment. The most common metaphor in the New Testament is that which contrasts the way of God's children who, Walk in the light as He is in the Light, and that of the sons of the devil who revel in The works of darkness.
Mt 7:20! Look at our daily lives! What did your fruit say about your path this week? Path of the righteousness or of the wicked!
Mt 12:30 Jesus said we’re either with him or against him! If our fruits are not clearly for him, then they are against him. Jesus goes on to say, “If we do not gather we scatter.” Did your path this week do anything to gather unto Christ? IF NOT YOU SCATTERED!!
Finding out we have some areas in our lives that need change is not a problem! The problem is when we REFUSE TO CHANGE!!