The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security
Proverbs 2; I die daily devotional.
8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Sometimes … our paths don’t seem so clear. As I meditate on this verse, a continuation from yesterday’s verse, altogether reads:
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
I think about Job from my writing yesterday, and how Job’s path in relation to mine, is clear—for me. But is it clear to my family and friends?
… *sigh* …
I feel like the most painful form of abuse is spiritual abuse; that’s not to take away from anyone who would disagree for reasons beyond me, but on our subject of Job; I believe his case will prove most enlightening to spiritual abuse in our lives today.
If we can imagine our lives from the viewpoint or perspective of Job while dealing with his family and friends, will see the similarities to intent and motives of our own believing families and friends that mean well on God’s behalf, but completely misrepresent God. And it is dangerous, as we’ll see in the book:
Job 42:7 — It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. 8 Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job.
See I fear that I’ve been guilty of misrepresenting God by seeing with a lens of human eyes rather than the lens of a godly heart; I see and hear what’s happening in the United States politics and think of “sins” that might have caused our present conditions; being a democrat or republican can procure an argument between friends, but the question is…
…what is the right path?
Without fail, Job looked through his wife’s advice to curse God, his friends advice to accept defeat, and pleaded for the source—the only One Who could put an end to, or explain, his constant agony:
Job 2:10 — But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job 6:1 — Then Job answered, … 8 “Oh that my request might come to pass, And that God would grant my longing! 9 “Would that God were willing to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off! 10 “But it is still my consolation, And I rejoice in unsparing pain, That I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 11 “What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should endure? 12 “Is my strength the strength of stones, Or is my flesh bronze? 13 “Is it that my help is not within me, And that deliverance is driven from me?
Jesus guards our paths of justice just as He did Job’s, and not only Job’s, but his wife’s and friends; Job didn’t cave into sin because the testimony about Job’s faith (blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil) proved true even when put to the test by our enemy.
Will your faith prove the same for you?
So what if we choose not to put our faith in our government, but the sustenance of God’s Word? Could it be then that the path of a democrat, or a republican, prove null and void, because those paths don’t actually matter?
When I look at the book of Job and think about Jesus, I see a path guarded and preserved for my soul.
Do you see that for you?
Job 42:10 — The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold. 11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold. 12 The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He had seven sons and three daughters. 14 He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. 16 After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man and full of days.
There is so much more I want to dig into with this devotional, but unfortunately, my deadline is fast approaching…
The last little bit of insight I found from Job for my character development was that Job was instructed to pray for his friends, even though they proved worse than no help, he prayed and afterwards was restored. Notice it was when Job prayed for his friends that he was restored, not before.
Are you praying for your brothers and sisters in Christ on both sides of our democracy? Or consider this… we’re all liberal and conservative at the same time, so there is no side but liberty in Jesus Christ.
- Do you trust that your path is guarded, and that your way is preserved?
Proverbs 2 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things; 13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who delight in doing evil And rejoice in the perversity of evil; 15 Whose paths are crooked, And who are devious in their ways; 16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words; 17 That leaves the companion of her youth And forgets the covenant of her God; 18 For her house sinks down to death And her tracks lead to the dead; 19 None who go to her return again, Nor do they reach the paths of life. 20 So you will walk in the way of good men 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 treacherous will be uprooted from it.
Matthew Henry (P2-V7) Commentary
3. He has particularly provided that good men, who are sincerely disposed to do his will, shall have that knowledge and that understanding which are necessary for them, Jn. 7:17. Let them seek wisdom, and they shall find it; let them ask, and it shall be given them, v. 7, 8. Observe here,
- (1.) Who those are that are thus favoured. They are the righteous, on whom the image of God is renewed, which consists in righteousness, and those who walk uprightly, who are honest in their dealings both with God and man and make conscience of doing their duty as far as they know it. They are his saints, devoted to his honour, and set apart for his service.
- (2.) What it is that is provided for them.
- [1.] Instruction. The means of wisdom are given to all, but wisdom itself, sound wisdom, is laid up for the righteous, laid up in Christ their head, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and who is made of God to us wisdom. The same that is the Spirit of revelation in the word is a Spirit of wisdom in the souls of those that are sanctified, that wisdom of the prudent which is to understand his way; and it is sound wisdom, its foundations firm, its principles solid, and its products of lasting advantage.
- [2.] Satisfaction. Some read it, He lays up substance for the righteous, not only substantial knowledge, but substantial happiness and comfort, Prov. 8:21. Riches are things that are not, and those that have them only fancy themselves happy; but what is laid up in the promises and in heaven for the righteous will make them truly, thoroughly, and eternally happy.
- [3.] Protection. Even those who walk uprightly may be brought into danger for the trial of their faith, but God is, and will be, a buckler to them, so that nothing that happens to them shall do them any real hurt, or possess them with any terrific apprehensions; they are safe, and they shall think themselves so. Fear not, Abraham; I am thy shield. It is their way, the paths of judgment in which they walk, that the Lord knows, and owns, and takes care of.
- [4.] Grace to persevere to the end. If we depend upon God, and seek to him for wisdom, he will uphold us in our integrity, will enable us to keep the paths of judgment, however we may be tempted to turn aside out of them; for he preserves the way of his saints, that it be not perverted, and so preserves them in it safe and blameless to his heavenly kingdom. The assurances God has given us of his grace, if duly improved, will excite and quicken our endeavours in doing our duty. Work out your salvation, for God works in you.