To continue on the moral benefits of wisdom, Proverbs 2:6-9 says
For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds victory 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.
Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path. (NIV)
Only the Lord gives the wisdom we need. Only from His words can we obtain it. The verses state that He watches over those that use wisdom, that are moral, that understand right and wrong. He protects them. He gives them the knowledge and direction to come out safe and more mature.
Verses 10 and 11 go on…
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you. (NIV)
Wisdom can protect in so many circumstances. Many cases could involve your very life. Why wouldn’t want that? Why wouldn’t we want to accept the knowledge that could save us? Why won’t we listen to the warnings and protect ourselves?
12 -15 goes on to say…
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
who leave 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)
How do we know not to follow a stranger down a dark alley? How do we know not to give out our credit card information? How do we know keep doors locked when we go out of town? Wisdom that we have either learned the hard way or that we have willingly accepted from others. It can only protect us. It can only do us good.
The next verses focus mainly on seduction. When you first read it, you naturally think of the physical, sexual seduction, but it can be applied to other areas. You’ll see as we go along.
It will save you also from the adulteress,
from the wayward wife with her seductive words,
who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God. [a]
For 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.
Thus you will walk in the ways of good men
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
Applying these words literally about being seduced (by man or woman) is a great way to use the words. They were written to warn you of that path. We need to take the words to heart about that. But right now I want to think of how this can be applied in other areas, how this wisdom can be a part of our entire lives.
What does it mean to be seduced? Does it mean being convinced to sleep with someone, to allow them liberties that you might not otherwise give? To seduce means to lead astray or to cause disobedience. Wow! That kind of changes how we look at it. Maybe we are seduced more than we realize. Maybe we are the ones doing the seducing.
Now, let’s list out all the areas where we could say that we could be seduced (led astray) in our lives:
– To steal (money, possessions, friends….)
– To lie (it’s just one little falsehood…..)
– To turn a blind eye to injustice (someone else will take care of it….)
– To hurt others to reach a position (They’ll understand….)
The list could go on and on. Even the ones listed could be broken out into a multitude of sub-categories.
To carry it through these verses, write how each of these activities could lead you down a path of death or destruction.
– Steal (prison, loss of relationships)
– Lie (public humiliation, broken relationships, stigma of liar)
– Blind eye (Reputation, same boat, guilt)
– Hurting others (loss of relationships, no friends)
Notice how so much of it involves relationships. That relationship could be our spouse, family members, close friends, community, and God. Yes, God. When we perform these acts, we hurt our relationship with Him. We put barriers between us. We become like Adam and Eve in the garden when they had sinned. They could not expose themselves so they hid. God went through His normal routine of walking in the garden and was looking for them like He always did. It was the man and woman who hindered that intimate walk. It was their decision and their actions that caused a rift that took a lot of planning and love to mend.
Wisdom is not something to scoff at. It is not something that you’ll obtain as the years go by but for now will just live your life merrily. It is something we seek for in earnest and we absorb into our very being.