Monday, May 9, 2022
9-15 So now you can pick out what’s true and fair,
find all the good trails!
Lady Wisdom will be your close friend,
and Brother Knowledge, your pleasant companion.
Good Sense will scout ahead for danger,
Insight will keep an eye out for you.
They’ll keep you from making wrong turns,
or following the bad directions
Of those who are lost themselves
and can’t tell a trail from a tumbleweed,
These losers who make a game of evil
and throw parties to celebrate perversity,
Traveling paths that go nowhere,
wandering in a maze of detours and dead ends.
16-19 Wise friends will rescue you from the Temptress—
that smooth-talking Seductress
Who’s faithless to the husband she married years ago,
never gave a second thought to her promises before God.
Her whole way of life is doomed;
every step she takes brings her closer to hell.
No one who joins her company ever comes back,
ever sets foot on the path to real living.
20-22 So—join the company of good men and women,
keep your feet on the tried-and-true paths.
It’s the men who walk straight who will settle this land,
the women with integrity who will last here.
The corrupt will lose their lives;
the dishonest will be gone for good.
-Proverbs 2:9-22 The Message
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.
16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
17 who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
18 for her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;
19 none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.
20 So you will walk in the way of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will inhabit the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it,
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.
Verses 9-10 studies: Growing is a way to gain wisdom, constantly growing. First, we must trust and honor God. Second, realize that the Bible reveals God’s wisdom to us. Third, making lifelong right choices and avoiding pitfalls. Not every decision is right; that’s where our wisdom comes from. Fourth, when we commit sin or make mistakes, we learn from them. Many people do not develop all aspects of wisdom all in one sitting. For example, some people have some insight than discretion. Other people have more knowledge than common sense. I am constantly reminded that someone with a degree doesn’t always have common sense. Education is one thing, but having experience comes a long way toward wisdom. We should pray for all aspects of wisdom and take these steps to develop them in our lives.
Verse 11 study: Discretion is a way to see right from wrong. As a believer, you can use discretion to detect evil motives in men (2:12) and women (2:16). Of course, this comes with practice; it helps us evaluate a plan of action and consequences. This is a gift for some, but most have to have it developed by using God’s truth to make wise choices day by day. Hebrews 5:14 reminds us to train ourselves to build discretion. Like an athlete in training, discretion is what you train for.
12 delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech. -Proverbs 2:12 ESV 16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. -Proverbs 2:16 ESV 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. -Hebrews 5:14 ESV
Verses 16-17 studies: An adulteress is a seductive woman or a prostitute. Two of the most difficult sins to resist are pride and sexual immorality. I can speak to this; it is difficult. Pride is something I battle with to always make sure I’m right, but I have to understand that it is okay to put your pride to the side and learn something. I also struggle with sexual immorality because of pornography. This is a continuous struggle for me, but I battle every day. I make mistakes and still work every day to get 1% better. Pride says, “I deserve it,” it is me who has to change. “I need it” is sexual desire. I don’t necessarily need it, but I always want it, so pornography comes into the picture.
Solomon says that relying on God’s strength can we overcome them. Now I witnessed this in me. I did fine depending on God’s strength and staying in the Word, but soon as I wandered away from the Word, pride and sexual immorality crept back into my life. Pride appeals to the empty head; sexual enticement is to the empty heart. Looking to God is a way to fill our heads with his wisdom, compassion, and love. Don’t be fooled; remember what God says about who you are and what you are meant to be. Pride and sexual immorality do not define you. Ask for strength to resist temptation.