Solomon urges obedience to his instructions. This isn’t because he is a power-hog of a king who craves his people to keep his controlling laws.
It’s because his desire is for his “son” to grow in maturity in God and so be blessed with many good things.
Here we quite clearly see Solomon’s desire for his students to learn the way wisdom.
The right paths in life are the ones that lead to God, and the path of wisdom is the one must tread.
While it may not be an easy road, it is the best and one on which you won’t stumble on.
“12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.”
“4 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.”
The joy of working with Proverbs is when a hard concept, like walking the path of wisdom, is presented, the writer provides what it looks like to do the complete opposite.
An honest walk along the path of wisdom stands in juxtaposition to a greedy, sleepless lope in the way of evil.
Not only do the wicked stay awake until they have done wrong to another, but their very food is sin.
This idea of very different paths is not without flaws if you leave out the full reasoning. A wise man like Solomon sinned in many ways. He was not without his weaknesses, which included amassing wives and concubines (basically wives for whenever one felt like them). That led to his downfall as God had said would happen to such kings in Deuteronomy 17:17.
The path of wisdom is not the path of the perfect. The perfect person would not need to walk it. They would love God fully and have great wisdom and understanding.
What sets a walker on the path of wisdom apart from one on the wicked path is that he/she is consistent with staying on that path. The wicked may try to seek wisdom, but they will only be wise in their own eyes, and it won’t be a genuine change to God.
It is better travel on the right path and once we are on that path for a while, it will become easier to walk on it – our eyes will get less and less blinded by sin.
The dark path is just that. The ones on it don’t even know what’s going wrong.
Surely it is God’s grace that allows some to be saved from the path that we were once all on. Amen.
Pondering: What path are you on? How are you even supposed to know? Check out Romans 1: 18 -32 for some explanation about our ways.