“When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil…(vs.10-12a)”
Having shown God to be giver of wisdom in the first part of chapter two, Solomon focuses on how those who have found godly wisdom will be protected against all kinds of evil.
Being wise is here characterised by being able to avoid evildoers. Wisdom will keep us “from the man who speaks perverse things, from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; (vs.12b,13)”
Lets pause here. How exactly does wisdom protect us here? Well the perverse words spoken by men are often right in their own eyes, but for the person with wisdom will see the words for what they are – disgusting and sinful. People who leave the paths of uprightness often don’t know they’ve slid so quick, but a wise person notices his tendencies and is able to halt his descent.
“…Who rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked; whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths; (vs. 14,15)”
Often the reason for doing evil comes down simply to the fact that one loves doing it. It’s easy sometimes to think that people who continually commit atrocities live in shame of their deeds, but over time I’d say that people will love their lives of debauchery. Shocking but true.
The one who has godly wisdom despises that path. Instead they will seek God as the most satisfying and lasting delight ever. He is the source of true joy, and when you are satisfied in God, every temptation fades in comparison to His glory.
Speaking of temptations, wisdom will “deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words, (vs. 16)”
It seems in life if you are not being hounded to sin in one way, you are being hounded to sin another way!
The woman described here has desires for men that led her to sin, having forsaken her husband because of them (vs. 17a). Worst of all, she forgets the covenant between her and God (vs.17b). She has given up much for her lifestyle, and she will drag other foolish ones with her in her desire.
Solomon is flat against any sort of compromise in this situation; he solemnly warns, “Her house leads down to death, and her paths to the dead; none who go to her return, nor do they regain the paths of life (vs. 18)”
Wisdom, which comes with discretion and understanding, preserves one from these pitfalls of sin.
Chapter two finishes with words of promise: “So you may walk in the way of goodness, and keep to the paths of righteousness. For the upright will dwell in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the earth, and the unfaithful will be uprooted from it. (vs. 20-22)”
Verse 21 and 22 have strong words and do polarise people in a way that is uncomfortable. I realise this. However, this is how Proverbs writes. I can’t comment on it any other way.
Remain in the Lord and you will avoid much pain and sorrow. You will receive the blessings from God and dwell in the land. To do otherwise, to despise the teaching of God and his attributes, to live a life of sin in defiance, that is unwise and treacherous. You will be cut off from His blessings.
I pray for you, that you will seek godly wisdom and be kept from the ways of darkness. Amen
Questions to ponder: Am I seeking Godly wisdom and do I trust that it will keep me from evil?