Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 2:20 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.
To Inhabit The Land
Verses like these get kinda hard to understand without context. They just pick up in the middle and you're left wondering. This is an If-than passage. If you do this, this is what will happen. To understand this text better, we have to look all the way back at verses 1-5 of Proverbs 2 which says...
1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then...you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5)
So, verse 5 starts with the word then. And then comes a list of promises to those who respond accordingly. So, to those who listen and search and value and treasure wisdom, verses 20 and 21 are for you.
Verse 20 says: So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous
Who is that? Who is good and who is righteous? Is it a police officer? A judge? the present? The Christian? A member of the church? The pastor?
No. It’s none of these. Apart from Jesus, they are only man. And Romans 3:10 tells us “as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one.""
So if these men and women are not the upright and righteous, then who is?
In Luke 18:19, Jesus himself answers this question by saying ”Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.“
Yes. It is Jesus; he is good, he is God. In looking to him in faith we are seeking after goodness, truth and wisdom, following in the paths of God!
The next verse talks about the upright and righteous inheriting the land and those with integrity remaining in it. But you may be asking yourself...” why does it say this? I know plenty of people without integrity who live in this world.” That’s because this is not the land the Bible is referring to. This chunk of rock we call earth is broken and sinful. It is not the way God intended for it to be. But there will be. Jesus has gone to make a place for us. A new heaven and new earth. And those who walk in the path of God will see that new place.
Verse 23 is a hard pill to swallow. You have the promises of good to come if you follow God and suddenly, you get smacked with the consequence of rejecting him. For those who seek self, wealth, immediate pleasure. Those who reject truth, correction, wisdom and all together, God, they will be cut off from God. They will be turned away from the kingdom of God. They will be rooted out as though they were pesky weeds in a garden. You don’t pull the weeds and plant them elsewhere. You pull the weeds, root and all so they don’t grow back and then burn or destroy them. My friends, this is the opposite of heaven. This is Hell. For rejecting the ways of God, he will reject the wicked and they will be cast into hell.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer truth over lies, wisdom over stupidity, peace over chaos. I prefer the presence of God over the absence of everything that is good.
To respond to today’s passage, I urge you to go hard and seek truth. Do what God would have you do and put your faith in Christ. Come to a place of absolute need and understand that you have already followed the ways of the wicked too long. You are on the way to an eternity separated from God. Look to the cross and know that anything that can be done to save you, has already been done. Put your faith in Christ and repent of your sins. Ask for forgiveness. This! This is walking in the way of he who is good! This is wisdom.