We begin this chapter with a memory verse:
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. – Proverbs 22:3
This verse is stuffed full of truth, and has solid handles to hoist it up and take it along with you each day. It teaches us that through godly wisdom we can anticipate what is coming, and practice a discerning discipline to avoid trouble. Combining this with other elements we have learned along the way, if flatterers, gossips, and trouble-generators are involved, stop, turn around, and head in a different direction. Quickly.
Speed round, go …
- Verse 4 – The world loathes things that God loves, and vice versa. 1 John 2:15-17 illustrates this further:
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
- Verse 6 – God’s principles are always true, God’s promises always arrive; we must not confuse a principle with a promise. This verse is not a promise though many latch onto it as one; it is a principle. We must not hang our hope on a non-promise, but we obey it as a principle knowing that it leads to good, not a guarantee.
- Verse 10 – Separate yourself from scoffers and your life will develop a newfound peace and quiet.
- Verse 13 – The lazy create imaginative excuses to not head out the door to work.
Note: In verses 17-21 the tone shifts from short snippets of instruction to dialogue. Note that the commands, “incline your ear, hear the words, apply your heart,” etc.
- Verses 24-25 – Your friends’ character will shape yours, choose your friends wisely.
- Verse 28 – New ways rarely generate spiritual good. Don’t drastically Change something that has stood the test of time.
“Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.” – Jeremiah 6:16
Now that verse is one that deserves to be read, re-read, memorized, and mediated on. How many “ancient paths” and “good ways” have been forsaken for that which is modern or fashionable. And we wonder why our society is like it is …