Proverbs 4:14-19 (ESV) – “The Two Ways”

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
    and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15 Avoid it; do not go on it;
    turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
    they are robbed of sleep unless they have made 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,
    which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know over what they stumble.

The first nine chapters of the Book of Proverbs contain “10 Paternal Appeals,” poems written from a father to his son (or the reader) urging the pursuit of wisdom by making comparisons between three general character types: the wise, the fool, and the simple.  This passage makes up the sixth paternal appeal referred to as “The Two Ways.”  The doctrine of the two ways is central teaching in the Proverbs and is rather simple.    There are two ways by which you can travel through life – on the path of wisdom and righteousness or on the path of folly and wickedness.  Which path you choose determines the outcome of your life.

The course of the two paths is rather self explanatory.  The underlying theme of chapter 4 emphasized in “The Two Ways” appeal is the guarding of the heart as it is the place of feeling, thinking, and the source of our attitudes and actions.  As the contrast between the two paths clearly indicates, the heart is best guarded by keeping it (the heart) seeking Jesus, as He is the “path of the righteous” and the “light of dawn” (v.18).  Bridging the gap between Proverbs 4 and the New Testament, notice how Jesus describes himself on the Mount of Olives in John 8:12 (ESV) – 12 “…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The conclusion is simple my friends; A path of insatiable hunger, destruction, and growing darkness which stumbles you, consumes you, and converts you to that which is then stumbled over, or a path shone over by the “light of dawn,” filling your heart with living water and a sanctifying Spirit which grows “brighter and brighter” with each step taken.  This is where you will find me “Doin’ the Proverbs 4 Walk.”

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