A Father’s Instruction
I die daily devotional.
13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked
And do not proceed in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
It’s these particular proverbs that impact me differently than others, and I think the reason might be because of what information I’ve gathered about people (including my wife) who have come to a place of belief where worthiness of the upright path is seemingly impossible, after all, we’re all sinners, so that answers that, right?
What I find peculiar about this wisdom is how Solomon didn’t keep it:
1 Kings 11:9 So the Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe (remember, obey) what the Lord had commanded. 11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 However, I will not do it in your lifetime, for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son (Rehoboam). 13 However, I will not tear away all the kingdom; I will give one tribe (Judah) to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”
Which seems to me that Solomon became much like that anointed cherub angel we read about in Ezekiel 28:
14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers and protects, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire [sparkling jewels]. 15 “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness and evil were found in you.
See… God… by His Word, gives us the path of wisdom and way of understanding, but not manipulatively; the choice to be and remain blameless in our ways is within our capacity to do so by the fact of God’s Word, His Spirit of fellowship with us who’ve died to sin for righteousness within. Jesus Christ didn’t die so that we would believe ourselves unworthy of obedience to righteousness, but died so that we might become worthy of His righteousness that reconciles us to God by fellowship with His Spirit alive in us today.
The responsibility we have to our precious gift of salvation is this faith filled proclamation—eternal life. The Lord our God is not sitting idle as though a throne of stone, but because Jesus Christ is the Son of God at the right hand of power, our Father in Heaven—Hallowed be His Name—the Kingdom is come, and His will… finished on the cross …be done. What more need be said?
1 John 5:11 And the testimony is this: God has given us eternal life [we already possess it], and this life is in His Son [resulting in our spiritual completeness, and eternal companionship with Him]. 12 He who has the Son [by accepting Him as Lord and Savior] has the life [that is eternal]; he who does not have the Son of God [by personal faith] does not have the life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God [which represents all that Jesus Christ is and does], so that you will know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have eternal life.
Proverbs 4 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com
Matthew Henry (P4-V14) Commentary
- I. The caution itself, v. 14, 15.
- 1. We must take heed of falling in with sin and sinners: Enter not into the paths of the wicked. Our teacher, having like a faithful guide shown us the right paths (v. 11), here warns us of the by-paths into which we are in danger of being drawn aside. Those that have been well educated, and trained up in the way they should go, let them never turn aside into the way they should not go; let them not so much as enter into it, no, not to make trial of it, lest it prove a dangerous experiment and difficult to retreat with safety. “Venture not into the company of those that are infected with the plague, no, not though thou think thyself guarded with an antidote.”
- 2. If at any time we are inveigled into an evil way, we must hasten out of it. “If, ere thou wast aware, thou didst enter in at the gate, because it was wide, go not on in the way of evil men. As soon as thou art made sensible of thy mistake, retire immediately, take not a step more, stay not a minute longer, in the way that certainly leads to destruction.”
- 3. We must dread and detest the ways of sin and sinners, and decline them with the utmost care imaginable. “The way of evil men may seem a pleasant way and sociable, and the nearest way to the compassing of some secular end we may have in view; but it is an evil way, and will end ill, and therefore if thou love thy God and thy soul avoid it, pass not by it, that thou mayest not be tempted to enter into it; and, if thou find thyself near it, turn from it and pass away, and get as far off it as thou canst.” The manner of expression intimates the imminent danger we are in, the need we have of this caution, and the great importance of it, and that our watchmen are, or should be, in good earnest, in giving us warning. It intimates likewise at what a distance we should keep from sin and sinners; he does not say, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance, the further the better; never think you can get far enough from it. Escape for thy life: look not behind thee.