Written by Michael Elliot
VS 1. Starting in Chapter 1, again proverbs warns against rejecting wisdom. Verse 1 speaks of those who are stiff necked or stubborn. It tells us that they will suddenly be destroyed without remedy. We can go back to 1:22-27 to see how we Solomon describes those you reject wisdom will be destroyed.
VS 2. This verse is repeated several times through Proverbs (11:10 & 28:12). Each time repeating that when the righteous prosper there is great celebration amongst the cities and the people. When wickedness rules, people cower and run and hide. Looking back at Judges 2:18 the word tells us that the LORD had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. I love these verses, I think it shows that if we choose God's wisdom we can live righteously, but even where the wicked rule our LORD is going to be there to lift us up.
VS 3-5. These speak of wisdom and righteousness. Chapter 16:12 says that a King detest wrongdoing and their throne is established upon righteousness. Breaking this down further we learn in 25:5 that if we remove the wicked from our lives then like the King's created a throne based on righteousness we also can create our own life filled with righteousness.
VS 6-12. These verses are filled with wisdom over wickedness and anger. Verse after verse we are instructed about the traps that we can fall in if we follow the way of anger and wickedness over following the wisdom that God provides us. If we eliminate the wicked things from our life greed, anger, jealousy, hate, etc. and follow God's word and wisdom we can live a life of happiness unlike in vs. 6 that speaks about the evil man that is snared by his own sin because the evil man follows the wicked path that lies with thorns and snares (22:5). Vs 10 tells us about what we will become if we follow the path of the wicked. It will only make our hatred for those who are righteous grow. In Chapter 1:11-16 Solomon depicts the schemes of what these bloodthirsty men will go to in efforts to tear down a man of integrity. Vs 12 tells us that if a ruler (leader) listens to the lies of wickedness all of his officials will become wicked. I know I can relate to this, and I am sure most can, we see this all the time in places of work and in public. To many people follow those who do "wicked" things, a lot of the time for acceptance and because they do not want to be embarrassed.
VS 13-21. This grouping of verses are teaching us wisdom that we need to teach and train others the wisdom that we have gained from God. In vs 14 we hear of the kinds and his throne again, if we judge those that are poor in spirit fairly, our throne of righteousness will always be secure. In vs 15 & 17 we are instructed to correct those without wisdom. Vs15 "The rod of correction imparts wisdom" and vs 17 "Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul". Just as raising any child, we have to discipline them so they know right from wrong. A child in faith also has to be disciplined to learn what the path of wisdom leading to a righteous life.
Vs. 21 explains that if we do not discipline and teach and pamper them from youth, that it will us grief in the end.
VS 22-27. Proverbs again warns us of the traps an pitfalls that come with the wicked lifestyle. Anger in vs. 22, stirs up dissension which breeds more anger which leads to hatred. Vs 23 A battle that myself and many fight is pride. It is hard for us to swallow our pride and admit we are wrong, apologize for something we did wrong. If we humble ourselves to the LORD he can take that pride and show us humility and wisdom. Vs 25 "FEAR" As I am learning in my men's group, fear is a leading contributor to our idols and pitfalls in our Christian life. As I have learned fear causes a fork in the road in our lives, we can choose two directions. We can choose to turn and run to ourselves for the answers, or we can choose to turn and run to GOD and his truth and grace. We have to replace fear with trust in GOD. Look back in 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
If we turn our Christian lives to GOD and we trust in him and follow the path that he has laid out for us, and we accept his grace and wisdom, we can live a life of so much happiness and and great celebration as vs 2 said. If we choose not to, if we choose the wicked life, instead of the righteous life then Proverbs 29 gives us plenty of description of the struggles we will face in our life. My prayer for myself and all those that I love and care for would be that they make the easy choice of accepting GOD's grace and wisdom. I pray that you and I may have the strength of GOD to not have fear of man and to not let our pride be in the way that we can show through our actions and lifestyle what GOD's grace and wisdom has done for you and I.