Key Text: Proverbs 4:1-19 & 24:12
Solomon is telling all his sons, what their grandfather first told him. This reminds us that God uses parents to instill wisdom by example in our hearts as a child. Listening seems to be a lost art today, in years past before television, we listened to stories and the radio, but today we are more visual in our learning than audible. This fact makes your living visual example more important in the eyes of your children and lost neighbors, friends and family. We may learn a valuable lesson from the Proverbs, if we take the time to write down our own experiences and life-lessons for our children to read, instead of just relying on them listening to us. As important as hobbies, vacations, household chores and family leisure might be, there is nothing as important as parental advice and the sharing of experience with God’s wisdom. Instead of telling our children they MUST get a good college education, or they MUST keep trying to get a better job, or they MUST a good retirement account or investment, we SHOULD be telling them to GET WISDOM! There is no greater joy than to see your children walk in truth, 3rd John v4. This is more than making sure your children get to Bible class on Sunday! The commandment with promise from Ephesians 6:2, is reiterated here in Proverbs 4:10. It is a true generalization that if we live our life practicing God’s wisdom, we will extend our days to accomplish more for God’s glory on earth, than if we live according to the world’s ‘wisdom’, see Luke 16:15.There are more rewards too! Loving and embracing wisdom is promised to bring us Protection (v6), Exaltation & Honor (v8), and Grace & Beauty (v9). Jesus taught that we will be rewarded for our deeds for eternity, Mt. 16:26-27. We often get confused about rewards and salvation. Our rewards are blessings here on earth and within heaven, but our salvation is based on God’s grace accepting our soul’s faith, not our works and a wise lifestyle in our body. Do not confuse the two. God’s acceptance of us is based on our genuine faith in His son’s blood, which leads to Him securing our salvation, then afterwards, there are even more rewards in heaven than what we have experienced on earth. He will repay each of us according to our works, Romans 2:6, 2nd Tim. 4:14-16, 1st Peter 1:17, Rev. 2:23, 20:12-13, 22:12. In all of these very critical passages warning those who have lived foolishly and hindered their brothers & sisters in Christ, it is ominous that their salvation is not spoken of, but yet their rewards seem to be obliterated and they rest under God’s chastisement with their salvation at risk, not necessarily revoked. See 1st Cor. 3:12-15, to help keep your view of salvation and rewards distinctly different. Proverbs 24:12.
The Straight Paths, mentioned in verse 11 are exactly what Jesus was teaching on in Matthew 7:14, in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Mt. 7:21-23, therefore your salvation ultimately depend on whether or not you accept the right WAY or path. Jesus said He was the Way, John 14:6. Zacharias saw this prophetically when John the immersionist was an infant, Luke 1:78. Do you help people see the pathway to peace? They need your help, Prv. 4:18-19.
The Path of the Wicked, seen in verse 14, is the way which seems right to humanity in the world, Proverbs 16:25, it leads to our own destruction. That way is broad, wide and easy to walk, the people who desire it may say Jesus is Lord, but they do not live like Jesus is Lord, Mt. 7:21. The Lordship of Jesus in our life will characterize us with humility, repentance, wisdom and self-sacrificial love, Luke 9:23.
Which Path will you choose? We choose one everyday, whether we realize it or not, make yourself aware of which Path you really desire and walk upon.