Proverbs 2 - Choosing the Right Path pt II

Steve Viars December 29, 2001 Proverbs 2:

Introduction

Christmas testimony time
– Patience – Waiting on God
– Opportunities to be salt and light with unsaved family
– encouragement to believers

Last week Pastor Viars began a new section in our study in the book of Proverbs

It is what Warren Wiersbe calls Choosing the Right Path

You could argue that that is the theme of the whole book – wisdom deals with choosing the right path.

That theme shows up particularly in Chapters 2, 3, 4.

So these chapters are describing to us what we should expect when choosing the path of wisdom or the path of folly.

Wiersbe states that 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).

Last week you began addressing the truth that wisdom protects your path when you choose its way.

I.  Wisdom Protects Your Path.

Wiersbe organizes the material in Chapter 2 under three “walks”

Walking with God, Walking with the wicked, and walking with the righteous.

A.  Walking with God.

1.  Our responsibilities

  a.  Receive my saying – 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

INPUT - What words would you use to describe what is being talked about here regarding our responsibility?

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 ways that God promises to bless us if we do our part?

1.  Wisdom will be given (James 1:5)
2.  Protection is provided (“shield”, “guarding”, “preserves”)
3.  Discernment awarded

INPUT – Can you think of an example [biblical, real, general] that illustrates these principles?

In other words can you think of some examples where because a through h were fulfilled, 1, 2, or 3 occurred?

Ex. Joshua “treasured my commandments within him” and God acted as his shield, preserved his way and gave him discernment to make right choices.

So this is what Proverbs/God is proposing/laying out on the table:  If you diligently seek wisdom you will receive wisdom and the blessing that follow.

Obviously none of us has arrived at the point where we perfectly seek wisdom and as a result always reap God’s blessing.

There is a gap between where we are and what proverbs is speaking about.  By God’s grace that gap ought to be progressively shrinking.

I want us to think about the following question.

INPUT – What are some obstacles created by our thinking or behavior that hinder us from closing the gap?

Another way to look at it: we all work diligently for our paychecks.  Prov. 3:13-15 compares wisdom to silver, gold, and jewels, yet many times we do not seek it as diligently as we do our paychecks. 

INPUT – What is the difference in our thinking and behavior that causes us to work diligently for our paychecks but not for the blessing of wisdom.

- we don’t believe that wisdom is as valuable as silver, gold, jewels.
- “we don’t need the benefits of wisdom –protection”
- “we don’t need God’s help in making wise choices”
- behavioral habits of laziness, busyness, wrong priorities, etc.

I think we can be helped in our thinking by considering the next two “walks” described in the rest of the chapter.

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?

- speaks perverse things, leave paths of uprightness, walk in darkness, delights in doing evil, rejoices in perversity of evil, crooked path, devious

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

Let’s talk about this issue of being delivered from the evil man (one of the blessing of seeking after wisdom)

INPUT – What does the opposite of being delivered from the evil one look like?

Following his lifestyle – Prov. 4:16 he can’t sleep until he makes someone stumble, Prov. 24:2 says his lips talk of trouble, he is described as violent and looking to shed blood
Caught up in his destiny – ensnared by the transgression of their lips (12:12), punished (11:21), condemned (12:2), no future and lamp put out (24:20)
Being a victim of his devices

God says if you seek wisdom you will be delivered from the evil man.

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.  Cf. Psalm 1

INPUT – Implications of these verses to today?


Adult Bible Fellowship
Choosing the Right Path #2
Proverbs Series #13

Introduction

Wiersbe states that “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).”


I.  Wisdom Protects Your Path.

A.  Walking with God.

1.  Our responsibilities

  a.  Receive my saying – 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

INPUT - What words would you use to describe what is being talked about here regarding our responsibility?

2.  God’s ______________

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

INPUT – Can you think of an example [biblical, real, general] that illustrates these principles?


INPUT – What are some obstacles created by our thinking or behavior that hinder us from closing the gap?

INPUT – What is the difference in our thinking and behavior that causes us to work diligently for our paychecks but not for the blessing of wisdom.


B.  Walking with the _____________.

1.  the evil ________.

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?

INPUT – What does the opposite of being delivered from the evil one look like?

2.  the strange _____________.

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 _______________.

INPUT – Implications of these verses to today?

Adult Bible Fellowship
Choosing the Right Path #2
Proverbs Series #13

Introduction

Wiersbe states that “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).”

I.  Wisdom Protects Your Path.

A.  Walking with God.

1.  Our responsibilities

  a.  Receive my saying – v. 1
  b.  Treasure my commandments within – 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

INPUT - What words would you use to describe what is being talked about here regarding our responsibility?

2.  God’s blessings

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

1.  Wisdom will be given (James 1:5)
2.  Protection is provided (“shield,” “guarding,” “preserves”)
3.  Discernment awarded

INPUT – Can you think of an example [biblical, real, general] that illustrates these principles?


INPUT – What are some obstacles created by our thinking or behavior that hinder us from closing the gap?

INPUT – What is the difference in our thinking and behavior that causes us to work diligently for our paychecks but not for the blessing of wisdom.


B.  Walking with the wicked.

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?

INPUT – What does the opposite of being delivered from the evil one look like?

Following his lifestyle
Caught up in his destiny
Being a victim of his devices

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.

INPUT – Implications of these verses to today?

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video