Proverbs 2 (CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL TEXT):
Moral instruction. . .given that I am one of those “free spirits” a lot of the time, I can guarantee you that this has been a hard area for me. I could sit here and analyze why, but I will keep that for my own, personal reflection.
This past year, though, has been about learning some huge lessons in not walking fine lines. It is funny (not ha ha funny) how quickly old thoughts and habits can take over, again. However, by God’s grace, He will not let us out of His grasp. For that, I am truly grateful.
Now for some explication.
First, a note about the gender use and the Bible’s application to EVERYONE: We know the Bible says, “My son” a lot. That doesn’t mean the instruction isn’t for the lady-folk. Proverbs was for Solomon upon his request for wisdom. (Just a reminder for any random “the-Bible-is-sexist” people out there. Things ALWAYS have to be taken in context.)
With that out of the way, let’s get to the instruction found in this passage. The voice in this chapter is not Wisdom speaking, but God, and it is full of conditional phrases, along with the benefits that result from accomplishing the “if’s”.
In verses 1-8, the call is such that “If” we accept, store up, listen, apply understanding, call out for , look for, search for insight and understanding/wisdom & knowledge, THEN (I’d make it bigger if I could) YOU WILL UNDERSTAND, because it is God who gives wisdom, understanding and insight (thus not relying on our own understanding). But added to those wonderful things are promises that I think a lot of us do not realize or always think of–I think maybe because we get caught up in the trap of self-loathing or thoughts that make us believe we are beyond blessings:
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.
Do you ever notice that you glide over promises like that? I do, sometimes. I think because I don’t feel like they are for me. Might be my upbringing, might be the world-weariness kicking in, but I often have to remind myself that God loves me that much…to provide me with success, to be my protector and guard.
But, it gets better in verses 9-11:
When we have all of the things promised in verses 1-8, we will not be able to help but truly understand and choose right from wrong, to have the right kind of knowledge, and to be able to discern what is profitable for our lives…that discernment, provided by God will guard us against poor choices and keep us from ultimately falling off the rails.
If we have all of those things, and God says who He says He is, then we cannot falter, unless we totally turn our backs and allow it.
That was the lesson I learned last year. I started to falter, knowingly. But, I came to a turning point of sorts. I realized that I wanted to lift others up and not be dragged down, and I also realized that I wanted things God’s way. I chose to become very still and just let God handle some situations in my life. And He did…because He loves and protects me.
The remainder of Proverbs 2 advises us as to what it is we are being protected from when we allow God to be the source of our understanding and wisdom. If we have the wisdom, understanding and God’s protection, we cannot be sucked into the things that befall mankind: getting in with the wrong people and influences, fraternizing with those that wallow in evil and perverse lifestyles, and yes…the idea that obtaining the promises found in wisdom and God’s protection will keep us from falling for those that seduce, whether sexually or otherwise–given our desires and appetites, as all parts of us are under God’s dominion.
In our present society, that can be a tough pill to swallow, even for those who truly wish to walk with God. We are surrounded by temptation, shortcuts, false promises and things that appear to be salves for our hurts and angst. Satan prays on that, though. God is our strength…He will give us what we need to side-step things…IF we cling to His wisdom.
Lastly, in verses 20-22, there is one last reminder of our choices: choose faithfulness and the right paths…and we will not fall; choose the World and its answers…lose ourselves and be cut off/walk away from God.
Let’s hope we all choose wisdom….sometimes easier said than done, given our humanness, but very much worth the submission to God.