We know that Proverbs is the book of short pithy sayings. This book often refers to wisdom. Well, two posts ago we learned from Pr 3 that quality and peace in life comes not from just hearing the Word of God, but obeying it as well! Hearing of the Word is only half of the job! Last week we learned that we must avoid following others down the wrong path, THAT WICKED PATH! IT TAKES SOME WISDOM TO DO THAT! Pr 3:5,6 told us we must not trust in ourselves or our own understanding, but trust in the Lord. He then will direct our paths. TODAY, WE WILL SEE HOW GOD DIRECTS US THROUGH HIS WORD TO REMAIN ON THAT PATH!
Vv21,22 WE MUST REMAIN ON THAT PATH BY SEEKING GOD’S COUNSEL!
These verses deal with counselors. When you look at the Proverbs that deal with “counselors” I believe the message that is communicated is the old saying, “2 HEADS ARE BETTER THAN 1.”
“folly” root word silliness. Not silly as in funny or laughing, but silly in decision making! People see me laughing and goofing around and always say I’m a happy person. FAR TOO OFTEN, PEOPLE ALLOW THE “PERSONA” TO OVER SHADOW THE PERSON. Don’t think this verse says a happy go lucky person is “destitute of discernment”, but it is addressing a person who doesn’t think things through!
DO YOU SEEK GOD’S COUNSEL? In the past 6 months what was a major decision you made? Did you sit down and say, “What does the Bible say about this” or “I don’t know what the Bible says about this, so let me seek the counsel of someone that may know?” IF YOU DIDN’T YOU ARE IN DANGER OF BEING THE “FOLLY” PERSON, NOT THE HAPPY GO LUCKY PERSON.
Vv 23-25,27 WE MUST REMAIN ON THAT PATH WITH HUMILITY
23- Words are powerful: they can either build up or destroy. Solomon devoted many of his proverbs to the consequences of speech. Just as foolish words can bring about a person’s own destruction, a wise word can bring joy to all who hear it. The apostle James wrote of the destructive power of words or the tongue! Jas 3:5 6 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
24- Life may be an uphill battle, but when we reach the top the effort is always worth it! IF IT IS VALUABLE TO YOU, ITS WORTH WORKING FOR!! The hard work develops character. The character turns into humility!
Christian labor, producing fruit, adds personal value to our salvation. The labor some work, fruit production, deepens our character and gives us humility because we know God has brought forth the harvest!!!
25- the widow- The most extreme type of desolation, stands as the representative of a class safer in their poverty under the protection of the Lord, than the proud in the arrogance of their strength.
God will bring about justice in the end. Scripture in many places describes God as a Protector of the defenseless. Ps 146:9 The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
V26 WE MUST REMAIN ON THAT PATH WITH GOD’S WORD
“pure” This word is a derivative from the word be pure, be clean. It is referring to ceremonially, ethically, or morally pure as opposed to a physical pureness or cleanliness!
Notice that God knows the mere thoughts of the wicked. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PRIVATE THOUGHT!!
The Christian should be more like David. Ps 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
Vv28,30,31 WE MUST REMAIN ON THAT PATH AS WE ARE CONVERTED
The Bible makes it clear that we are to be changed. Rom 6:4 we are “baptized into his death” & “walk in the newness of life” Jesus himself said Mt 18:3 Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven
28- When our hearts are changed we will study and meditate before we answer because we desire God’s will to be done! Contrast the “studying” of the wise before he answers and the hasty babbling of the foolish!
30- When our eyes are changed our perspective will alter what we see!!! You ever look at a cloud and see something, and another person looking at that cloud sees something totally different. A Christian looks at the Lord’s Supper, cross, Resurrection, etc different than a person of the world.
31- When our ears are changed these things begin to work together! Our hearts feel, eyes see, & ears hear differently so that we will seek the Lord’s Will for our lives!!
V29 WE MUST REMAIN ON THAT PATH WITH PRAYER
The prayers of God’s people are very important! This is one of those verses that most people underestimate! Those “faith only” people need to be taught this!
“righteous” This word is more than being a nice person! It is derived from the word that means just. It literally means honest, righteous, & lawful. It portrays a person who is OBEDIENT TO THE LAWS OF GOD!!
Therefore, those who disobey, regardless of what they believe, will be the wicked!!!!!
GE 6:9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.
V32- WE MUST REMAIN ON THAT PATH WITH UNDERSTANDING
George Lawson says, "We are born like a wild ass's colt in dire need of instruction; but some are such enemies of themselves that they will no consent to be taught wisdom.” A society of the undisciplined rapidly degenerates into a state of unethical devistation.
V33- WE MUST REMAIN ON THAT PATH WITH HOLY FEAR
The fear of God’s power is what should keep us in obedience! Jesus understood this concept he taught Mt 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
CONCL: If we are going to stay on the path of righteousness. The narrow way with the small gate that leads to life we must SEEK God’s counsel, have humility, hang onto God’s Word, be converted, continually pray, seek to understand, and fear the mighty God! Do you struggle in any of these areas? If so, are you willing to make changes?