Today's Thought Question:
- How can you practically apply what God has taught you in these verses....this chapter?
The closing verses of chapter 2 beckon us to walk in the way of "good men" and keep to the paths of the righteous. Yesterday's post reflected on 'righteous', meaning those who apply God's standards in dealing with others. The cross-reference for verse 20 is Hebrews 6:12--"...so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Do you ever get tired keeping up with the walk of good men? How do you like the label "sluggish"?
The next set of verses almost seems at it could have been written in Exodus, for Moses, Aaron and the Israelites. The upright and blameless will live in the land; the wicked and treacherous will be cut off or uprooted from it. God is very specific about who will receive His wisdom and promises--those who continue to walk following His Word. ‘Upright’ and ‘blameless’ don’t mean perfect. (That is the word used in the King James, but its definition is “integrity or truth.”) But we have to be taking the necessary actions to live with integrity—what we choose to accept as wisdom, which leads to what we think, speak and do.
So, who are the "wicked" and the "treacherous"? The wicked are those who are morally wrong and “actively bad people,” says Strong’s. This is worth elaboration, as the wicked are not just bad. We can all be bad. We are all sinners. But, what separates the wicked is that they are actively bad, implying that they continue in their bad ways. ‘Treachery’ means acting deceitfully, unfaithfully and covertly. (It comes from a root word meaning “to cover with a garment”). [Yikes!...Shuddering....]
"This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."--John 3: 19-21
We are told in the Scriptures that the Light will uncover the deeds of darkness. God will show the wicked and the treacherous, and their works. But, will we know His wisdom (knowledge and discernment) and turn to Him for His grace, strength and encouragement to follow the path of the righteous?Our ultimate citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20) but our citizenship on this earth, if we choose to stay in the loving protection of our Lord, requires our deliberate seeking of His wisdom.
Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:
Proverbs 3: 1-12
- Why do you think love and faithfulness are important with regard to wisdom?
- Reread verses 1-4. God promises us a good name and favor in His sight as well as man's if we do as He asks in these first three verses. God's standards and man's standards are often in complete opposition. How do you reconcile these two promises?
- Reread verses 5&6. This passage may be a familiar one to you. "Lean not on your own understanding." Is this directive difficult for you? Why?
Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).