Proverbs 2:1-4

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding - indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for hidden treasure," NIV translation

In chapter one, we saw that the young adult must choose whether they will enroll in the school of wisdom or the school of fools. Now, we see that, once they choose the school of wisdom, it takes work. Solomon urges his son to work at learning more of the things of God. In their day that meant memorizing the history of their people and the Law. For us, it involves reading and studying the Bible to know the will of God. Today, we have the convenience where we can use a Bible study app and find what we need in seconds but, in Solomon's day, they did not have the Scriptures in print for the common man.

Proverbs 2:5

"then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." NIV translation

Here, the "fear of the Lord" is speaking of awe or respect for God. If we study the word of God, we will see who He is and what He has done in the past. We will see His power at work in all things. He will help us to understand and it will cause us to worship Him.

Proverbs 2:6

"For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." NIV translation

Solomon reminds us that it is God who provides wisdom. He was the wisest man the world has ever seen but he never forgot that his wisdom was a gift that had been granted by God (see 2 Chronicles 1). The same thing is just as true today where we have all kinds of Bible colleges but true understanding of the Word and putting it into practice can only come from the power of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 2:7 & 8

"He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones." NIV translation

The Hebrew word for upright is "yasar" and it basically means straight. By studying the things of God and storing them in our hearts, we will know the correct path for all circumstances. We also see that it is God who actually does the work and guards our course. The "faithful ones" speaks of those who trust that He is right and good in showing us the straight path.

Proverbs 2:9-11

"Then you will understand what is right and just and fair - every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you." NIV translation

Solomon speaks of the very Spirit of God dwelling in the hearts of believers. He also speaks of the work of the Spirit in protecting and sanctifying the believers. This is also what Peter shared in his first letter ( see 1 Peter 1:5).

Proverbs 2:12-15

"Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways." NIV translation

Now, Solomon introduces his son (and us) to the fact that we have enemies in this world. The first enemy is evil men and we were introduced to them in chapter one. The ways of these men are "crooked" compared to the straight path of God. The Spirit inside of us will help us to distinguish whether men are trying to lead us onto this crooked path or assist us in staying on the straight path. We must remember that the devil is clever and will use these men to twist the scriptures to make their ways seem good. It was the way that Satan tested Jesus in the wilderness (see Matthew 4) and we can be assured that he will try the same trick on us. It is only through the power of God through the Holy Spirit that we can discern the difference.

Proverbs 2:16-19

"Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life." NIV translation

Now, Solomon introduces us to our second enemy on this earth which is the "adulterous woman". In the Hebrew, this verse is talking about those who were no longer Jews. In Leviticus 20, we see the punishments for various sins and for many of them it was death but for others it was being cut off from their people. Solomon warns his son and us to not listen and follow those who have turned their back on the ways of God.

Proverbs 2:20

"Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous." NIV translation

If you are listening to the Holy Spirit, you will be able to recognize when the devil is using men or women to get you off of the right path. Solomon rightly presumes that, if you recognize the work of the enemy, you will not willingly choose the path that they are showing you.

Proverbs 2:21

"For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;" NIV translation

The "land" refers to Canaan (Israel) and is a picture of the Christian's walk in this world. The upright and blameless are those who listen to and follow the Spirit of God. Abraham had listened to God and left his home for this land (see Genesis 12) demonstrating the fact that everyone must make a choice to follow the path of the Lord.

Proverbs 2:22

"but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it." NIV translation

In the Hebrew, "wicked" is rasha and its speaks of one who departs from the path and gets lost. The Hebrew word for unfaithful is ma'al and refers to one that has committed a treacherous act. Throughout the history of the people of Israel, there were generations that turned from God's path. When they did so, God would send an enemy to remove them from His presence (land). They did not make a choice to leave but had chosen to stop listening to God. As Christians, we can choose to listen to the Ultimate Counselor that God has provided or we can choose to listen to the world. If we start down the worldly path, God will work through the Spirit to get us to change directions. The Spirit will not shout over the voice of the world so, as we listen more to worldly men, it becomes harder and harder to hear the voice of God. It will seem like we are walking this path alone but, really, all we have to do is stop and listen to the Spirit. Just as Jesus promised that He would never leave or forsake us (John 14:18), the Spirit is still there waiting to be heard.

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