Proverbs 2 - Choosing the Right Path pt I

December 22, 2001 Proverbs 2:

- we’re beginning a brand new section in our study of the book of Proverbs…

- we began all of this with an extended introduction to the book.

- the last several weeks we’ve been looking at chapters 1,8 and 9—all dealing with wisdom’s calls.

 

- now we’d like to go back to chapter 2.

- chapters 2,3 and 4 form a unit—Warren Wiersbe organized these chapters around the idea of Choosing the Right Path.

- in other words, if you choose the path of wisdom, here’s what you can expect to happen, and if you choose the path of folly, here’s what you can expect to happen.

 

- Our Lord taught that human beings have to choose between two paths…[Matthew 7:13-14]

- either you can choose the broad path that leads to destruction, or the narrow path that leads to life.

- you see that same emphasis in the book of Proverbs…

- in fact, the words way/path are used over 100 times in this book.

- Is this surprising, given the purpose of this book? [why or why not?]

- [no, because it is written to young people---who are at a critical juncture, who are deciding which path to take]

 

- in summarizing these chapters, Warren Wiersbe says, “Wisdom is not only a person to love, but wisdom is also a path to walk, and the emphasis in chapters 2, 3, and 4 is on the blessings God’s people enjoy when they walk on wisdom’s path.  The path of wisdom leads to life, but the way of folly leads to death; when you walk on the path of wisdom, you enjoy three wonderful assurances:  wisdom protects your path (chapter 2), directs your path (chapter 3), and perfects your path (chapter 4).

 

- read Proverbs chapter 2

 

 

I.  Wisdom Protects Your Path.

 

- chapter 2 begins with the phrase “my son”.

- this is repeated many times in the book [cf. 3:1, 11, 21; 4:10, 20]

 

- the British Statesman Lord Chesterfield is reported to have said, “In matters of religion and matrimony I never give advice, because I will not have anybody’s torments in this world or the next laid to my charge.”

 

- INPUT – Is this a godly attitude?  Why or why not?  How does this stack up with this repeated phrase “my son”?

- [develop – Deut. 6, Psalm 78, etc.]

 

- a key verse in this chapter is 2:8 – [read and develop the idea of protection]

- there are three different walks that are described under this idea of protection…

 

A.  Walking with God.

 

- there are eight controlling verbs in verses 1-4 that govern the way we relate to God’s Word:

 

INPUT?

 

1.  Our responsibilities

 

a.  Receive my sayings – v. 1

 

b.  Treasure my commandments within you – v. 1

 

c.  Make your ear attentive to wisdom – v. 2

 

d.  Incline your heart to understanding – v. 2

 

e.  Cry for discernment – v. 3

 

f.  Lift your voice for understanding – v. 3

 

g.  Seek her as silver – v. 4

 

h.  Search for her as hidden treasure – v. 4

 

- Wiersbe goes on to say this…”Obtaining spiritual wisdom isn’t a once a week hobby, it is the daily discipline of a lifetime.  But in this age of microwave ovens, fast foods, digests, and numerous made-easy books, many people are out of the habit of daily investing time and energy in digging deep into Scripture and learning wisdom from the Lord.  Thanks to television, their attention span is brief, thanks for religious entertainment that passes for worship, their spiritual appetite is feeble and spiritual knowledge isn’t pleasant to their soul.  It’s no wonder that fewer and fewer people take time to be holy and more and more people fall prey to the enemies that lurk along the way.”

 

INPUT – As the new year approaches, how should these verses affect us?  What methods or resources have you found to be helpful in your study of the Scriptures?

 

2.  God’s blessings.

 

- Verses 6-9 tell how God will respond to the men and women who fulfill their responsibilities in the previous verses.

- INPUT – What are some of the ways God promises to bless us if we do our part?

- [review the argument of verses 6-9]

 

- INPUT – Can you think of an example [real or hypothetical] that illustrates these principles?

B.  Walking with the wicked.

 

- the next section of verses introduces two new characters to the book, the evil man and the strange woman.

 

1.  the evil man.

 

- INPUT – How is the evil man described in verses 12-15?

 

- INPUT – What does that look like today, and where might the evil man be found?

 

 

2.  the strange woman.

 

- INPUT – How is the strange woman described in verses 16-19?

 

- INPUT – What does that look like today, and where might the strange woman be found?

 

 

 

C.  Walking with the righteous.

 

- the chapter ends with a discussion of walking with good men, and the joy it brings, along with the consequences of walking with evil men.

 

-          INPUT – Implications of these verses to today?