Week Six – Day 1. Monday, February 20, 2017
Read Proverbs 2:7 – 15. SOAP Proverbs 2:7
PROVERBS 2:7-15 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 watching over the way of his saints. 9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; 10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, 12 delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, 13 who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, 14 who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil, 15 men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.
O – What does wisdom do for us? O – Verse 6 gives the premise of wisdom – “For God gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
What does wisdom give us?
• He stores “sound wisdom” for the upright – skillful and godly wisdom for those who are in right standing with Him
• A shield for those who walk in integrity – those who have honorable character and moral courage
• Guards paths of justice
• watching over the way of His saints – Keeps the way of His faithful ones
• We will understand righteousness and justice and equity – every good path
• Wisdom will enter our hearts
• Knowledge will be pleasing to our soul
• Discretion will watch over us
• Understanding will guard us
• We will be delivered from the way of evil
The way of evil has many pitfalls:
• men who have perverted speech – speak devious things
• forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in ways of darkness
• rejoice in doing evil – happy to do evil – delighting in it
• delight in the perverseness of evil
• crooked in their ways – devious in their paths
It looks like we need to store away, to treasure wisdom, in our hearts, and to act out in integrity. Integrity is “right conduct” – that which is pleasing to God. Our inner lives affect our outer actions. In so doing, God will guard and watch over our “way” – our journey in life. It is the “habitual manner of life.” How do we typically act in our daily lives?
I love the explanation in the lumina notes of the word “way.” “The noun (ma’gal) is used (1) literally of “wagon-wheel track; firm path” and (2) figuratively (as a metaphor) to describe the course of life. It is related to the feminine noun (’agalah, “cart”) and the verb (’agal) “to be round” (Qal) and “to roll” (Niphal). As a wagon-wheel cuts a deep track in a much traversed dirt road, so a person falls into routines and habits that reveal his moral character. In Proverbs the “paths” of the righteous are characterized by uprightness and integrity.” – Wow! What tracks are part of my life?? What are my routines and habits? Do they define a life of integrity??
The other explanation that I loved was defining perversity: Heb “perversities.” The plural form of (tahpukhot) may denote a plurality of number (“perverse things”) or intensification: “awful perversity.” As here, it often refers to perverse speech (Prov 8:13; 10:31, 32; 23:33). It is related to the noun (hefekh, “that which is contrary, perverse”) which refers to what is contrary to morality (Isa 29:16; Ezek 16:34;). The related verb(hafakh, “to turn; to overturn”) is used (1) literally of turning things over, e.g., tipping over a bowl (2 Kgs 21:13) and turning over bread-cakes (Judg 7:13; Hos 7:8) and (2) figuratively of perverting things so that they are morally upside down, so to speak (Jer 23:36). These people speak what is contrary to morality, wisdom, sense, logic or the truth. Morally upside down. THAT makes sense!
A – After all those wanderings through Hebrew language, what do I know now that needs to be applied to my life?
First, those thoughts on the “way.” What tracks are part of my life? What are my routines and habits? Do they define a life of integrity? What things do I do regularly, without thinking, that are on that “paths” of the righteous?
Is my inner life based on integrity? I Chronicles 29:17 states, “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.” Is God pleased with my heart? Does He test it – and find integrity??
Do I live a life of discretion – knowledge and understanding with a purpose? Do I make right choices that will protect me from falling into sin – or “morally upside down” choices?
P – Father God, I realize that I need YOU. Without You – and Your Word, I cannot possibly live a life that is on track, on the path of the righteous. I cannot live a life of integrity. I cannot live a life of discretion, making the right choices. Help me walk in the right path, so that my “tracks” are straight. Keep me from perversity. Father God, work in my heart today. Test it – and keep cleaning out those dusty corners. As I go today to serve at Overseas Council, may You be pleased with my heart, my attitudes, my actions, and my speech today. Amen.
v. 7 – stores up – tsaphan – to hide, treasure, treasure or store up
upright – The Hebrew word translated “upright” (yashar) is one of the terms used for the righteous. It points to the right conduct of the believer – that which is right or pleasing in the eyes of God. It stresses that the life of the individual is upright, straightforward, and just. It is paralleled with “those who walk in integrity.”
To live – Heb “walk.” The verb “to walk” ( halakh) is an idiom (implied comparison) for habitual manner of life
v. 8 – to guard – (lintsor, “to guard”) designates the purpose of the Lord giving “effective counsel” and being a “shield” to the upright. The verb (natsar, “to guard”) has a broad range of meanings: (1) to watch over, guard or protect a vineyard from theft (Prov 27:18); (2) to guard one’s lips or heart from evil (Prov 4:23; 13:3); (3) to protect a person from moral or physical danger (Prov 2:8, 11; 4:6; 13:6; 20:28; 22:12; 24:12) and (4) to guard with fidelity = to observe commands, law or covenant (Prov 3:1, 21; 4:13; 5:2; 6:20; 28:7). Here God guards the way of the just, that is, the course and conduct of life from the influence of evil.
v. 11 – discretion – The word (mÿzimmah, “discretion”) is the ability to know the best course of action for achieving one’s goal. It is knowledge and understanding with a purpose. This kind of knowledge enables one to make the right choices that will protect him from blunders and their consequences (cf. NLT “wise planning”; CEV “sound judgment”).
v. 13 – upright paths – Heb “paths of uprightness.” (yashar, “uprightness; straightness”) The moral life is described in Proverbs as the smooth, straight way (2:13; 4:11). The wicked abandon the clear straight path for an evil, crooked, uncertain path.
Lord I Need You – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuvfMDhTyMA
Lord, I come, I con-fess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay