1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.
16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.[a]
18 Surely her house leads down to death
and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return
or attain the paths of life.
20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
How beautiful is it that the second Proverb opens with, “My son.”
It’s a simple reminder that the wisdom we pursue is not cold or distant but instead the familial advice of a loving father. God’s wisdom is divine, and His purpose is perfect. This, of course, cannot always be said about our fathers here on Earth, and that’s ok because through the grace of God, we who have put our faith in Jesus now have access to the kind of instruction that is not always given by fallible men.
Take, for example, “the shortcut.”
There was a time, a time before Google Maps, before Apple Maps drove you into a lake, or before you printed off directions from MapQuest and followed them in reverse to get home. There was a time before all of this when you would hear your dad say the most terrifying words imaginable:
“I know a shortcut.”
The “secret back way,” the “way no one else knows…” every dad seemed to have one, and all of them never quite worked the way they were supposed to.
Directions are like that, though. They can be rendered useful or not based on unpredictable circumstances like traffic or construction.
But not God’s directions.
In Proverbs 2, we see clear directions towards living a life full of knowledge that glorifies God with our choices and protects us from falling into the pits that so easily take us off course. Here God implores us to take total stock of the people we have allowed to speak direction over our lives. Have we handed over the steering wheel to anyone who does not have God’s intention at heart? Have we surrendered the wayfinding of our days to men or women whose end goals are their own objectives?
God’s gift to us is the understanding of right and wrong that we will need to walk justly before Him and to turn away from those who would try to distract us. Have we heeded the warnings that gift has thrown our way about certain relationships? Have we paid attention to the small voice of wisdom longing to guide us towards a Spirit-led life? As Jesus-followers, we are called to be light in the lives of people who are wandering, but there is a difference between walking alongside someone and letting them lead the way.
Thank God that He freely gives us this wisdom. Because of Him, we are not left to wander through life trusting in our ability to make the right decisions. God will lead us every day.
Lord, today I humble myself before You. You say that You will give wisdom if I ask for it, so I ask for it now. I need Your understanding every day. Please help me to see where You want me to go, the choices You want me to make, and protect my way that I might be found faithful.