Monday, July 18, 2016

The Ten Paths Of Proverbs 2

There are many times during my Bible study each morning that I notice things about Scripture that I never saw before. It may be a phrase that jumps out at me, or maybe it's an entire verse that I don't remember being in that chapter before. It was right there, of course, tucked in where it always has been. But this time God opened my eyes to something new and exciting in HIs living, breathing word.

Reading through Proverbs for today's daily devotion on the side of this page, two words jumped off the page. Two words are liberally sprinkled throughout Proverbs 2: way and path. For any victorious Christian woman walking with the Lord, these two words are incredibly precious.

Here are the 10 uses of these words in this chapter.

1. The paths of judgment - On these paths, those who make considered decisions and come to a sensible conclusion will find themselves in God's perfect will. We may be tempted to stray from here because it's not the easiest path to walk, but we can depend on God's guidance and direction to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

2. The way of his saints - This way is covered with the grace of God. He preserves this way, providing protection, rest for the weary and strength to continue to the end. While not without its speed bumps and pot holes, the assurance of His grace is the sweetest promise.

3. Every good path - The blessings of staying on this path, the writer explains, include understanding righteousness, judgment and equity. These precious principles will guide us in every situation we will encounter on our walk with God. They teach us how He would have us treat others, run our businesses and our homes and reflect the love of God in all we say and do.

4. The way of the evil man - In stark contrast, there is a dark, foreboding way that has lured away so many throughout the generations. It may easy to walk at the time, as there are no requirements and no restrictions, but the consequences of even setting foot on this way will take their toll.

5. The paths of uprightness - Everything that we've ever learned about the goodness of God has placed us on the path of uprightness. Our faith, our love and our confidence keep us walking hand-in-hand with our Lord because this way bring joy, peace and contentment in Him.

6. The crooked ways and froward paths - Not every path is designed for us to walk on, and this is the perfect example. Even small children know the difference between right and wrong, so as adults we should make sure we're steering clear of any crooked path where we can't see what's beyond the next turn. This is how the enemy keeps us anxious and confused, and we don't want to give him anything to hold on to.

7. The path to the dead - Walked on by the strange woman, as the writer calls her, this path is familiar to those overcome by lusts of the flesh and the pull of the world. Filled with all things false, evil and sinful, this path leads only to a broken heart, spiritual crisis and soul-crushing despair.

8. The paths of life - But there is eminent and ultimate hope for the believer. The wisdom that God alone can give will direct us instead to the path of life. As opposed to the darkness of the the path to the dead, the path of life gives us light for the way, hope for tomorrow and determination to be in God's perfect will.

9. The way of good men - So many generations of believers have gone before us, leaving behind a path that we are encouraged to follow. Why should we make the same mistakes of choosing wrong paths when they have suffered and offer to be our example? This path is paved with broken hearts, new-found wisdom and encouragement to keep on keeping on no matter what comes our way.

10. The paths of the righteous - Our sisters in Christ are looking for these good paths, too, the ones that lead to all the goodness of God. We are not alone in our walk, just as we cannot walk this path without encountering others walking in the same direction. It is through these common circumstances and similar situations that we support one another, help carry burdens and be a sweet motivation when the walk is difficult.

The writer closes the chapter by explaining that these paths all lead to the land where the upright will dwell and where the perfect will remain. A lifetime of walking on the paths God has chosen for us, and promised to walk with us, is worth all the bumps and stumbles along the way. And His wisdom will keep us from turning to the left or the right, focusing on the life He would have us to live - now and with Him in eternity.

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