“I want to be in the Light as You are in the Light…” Can you name that tune? YES! It’s “In The Light” from dc Talk’s CLASSIC 1995 album, Jesus Freak! It is one of my favorite dc Talk songs, second to the title track from that album. “…what will people think when they hear that I’m a Jesus freak, what will people do when they find that it’s true!?!” Okay, yeah. I could go chasing a major rabbit trail there! (But it’s throwback Thursday, so I could technically get away with it…right?) What’s the point of mentioning this? In Proverbs 4, the path of those who pursue wisdom is likened to the shining light. And I couldn’t help but sing… “Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation, cause all I want is to be in the Light!”
That said, day six is Proverbs 4:10-27…
“10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. 11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble. 13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked and do not proceed in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, do not pass by it; turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; and they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. 20 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. 23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. 24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. 25 Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. 26 Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established. 27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.”
PROVERBS 4:10-27, NASB
Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. The path of those who intentionally pursue godly wisdom does not just lead to maturity in life on this earth but the incomprehensible (because it’s better than life) ultimate reality of eternal life in heaven with God never to be separated from Him. “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, NKJV). Did you catch the “fruit to holiness” statement? Our eternal destiny– where we’re going– ought to be reflected in our daily journeys as a testimony to it. If I am planning to go to Swaziland again, I wouldn’t hitchhike out to the Midwestern United States. I would get a plane ticket and head eastward across the Atlantic to South Africa!
I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble. In other versions “upright paths” is sometimes translated “straight paths.” Hmm, where have we heard that before? A couple of verses earlier, we learned that this “straight path” is one of trust…and not of self-confidence but of the truest trust, confidence in the LORD (See Proverbs 3:5-6). It is not that we won’t be impeded when we walk nor stumble when we run because it’s an easy journey or because of our ability to keep ourselves from such. No! It is because our God is our capable Guide! He lights our footsteps even though a world of darkness fights to encompass us. He is the true Light in whom is life (John 1:1-9)!
Take hold of instruction; do not let go…The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. The wicked don’t act wickedly on accident. They engage in wickedness deliberately…they thrive from doing wicked things (v.17). And they aren’t happy to do it all by themselves. “They are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall” (v.16b). Ever heard the saying, “misery loves company”? Well, it is somewhat true because misery just doesn’t love any kind of company…misery loves miserable company! There are even those who aren’t happy about themselves unless they’re putting someone else down. Know someone like that? Perhaps guilt won’t let them find rest, so they convince themselves with excuses that they’re not really all that bad because someone else is worse. Sin is still sin. It doesn’t matter if it’s “more” sin or “less” sin, the payment remains the same for sin… it’s death.
My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. A continuous reminder of the pertinent plea to pursue the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and His righteousness. Lord knows it’s not always easy, however, it is more than worth it!
Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Putting away perversity from our mouths, keeping corrupt talk from our lips, letting our eyes stay fixed upon Christ, etc. are all indications of our hearts! Our hearts and the lives we live (our attitudes, actions, etc.) as a result MUST be set on and pleasing to Jesus Christ. We cannot do this without the Spirit of God working within us.
Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil. This is a motto for blameless living. Stay the course, fight the good fight and keep on fighting, trust in the Lord and keep on trusting. Don’t depart from it. The paraphrase of Psalm 119:1-16 in the Message gives us a good prayer to pray as we’ve been called out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)…
You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow His directions, doing your best to find Him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road He set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now You expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course You set; then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with Your counsel. I thank You for speaking straight from Your heart; I learn the pattern of Your righteous ways. I’m going to do what You tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me. How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of Your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of You; don’t let me miss the road signs You’ve posted. I’ve banked Your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt. Be blessed, God; train me in Your ways of wise living. I’ll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from Your mouth; I delight far more in what You tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches. I ponder every morsel of wisdom from You, I attentively watch how You’ve done it. I relish everything You’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it.
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