The Road Less Traveled
Bring your weaknesses into the open before God as you seek to “walk in the ways of the good” (20).
Read Proverbs 2:1–22
My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.
16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.
18 Surely her house leads down to death
and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return
or attain the paths of life.
20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn what ways are you being tempted to sin, or to act unwisely at the moment?
Two ways of living are contrasted in this chapter: the way of the upright (21) and the way of the wicked (12–15)—an image that Jesus uses in the Sermon on the Mount when he describes a narrow way that leads to life and a broad one that leads only to destruction (Matt. 7:13,14). Finding the way that leads to godly living requires careful searching (1–4) with a single-minded dedication that characterizes the most determined treasure-hunter, musician or athlete. They know that achieving their goal of mastering an instrument or winning gold is impossible without hard work, but if they give it their full attention then the results are wonderfully rewarding.
So, too, is this life of wise living as a disciple of Jesus Christ. It demands our full attention, faithful walking in the way of the good by growing in the virtues of the Christian life (which are themselves the Christ-like life) and their application to every sphere of life. We might be saved by grace, full and free, but following Christ is no “walk in the park”—it demands of us everything we have and are. The alternative should fill us with dread (16–19).
Is there an area of your life in which you are not walking uprightly before God? Repent and change it today.
Lord, keep me in Your way today.