In an earlier devotion we addressed the proverb: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). With that knowledge we come to Proverbs 13:15-16 that sets forth two paths men follow: The first is the path of the righteous that rewards a man with favor and honor (13:15a, 16a); the second, the path of the sinner whose reward is sorrow and folly (13:15b, 16b).
Proverbs 13:15-16 – “Good understanding [prudence; insight; discretion] giveth [makes for; earns] favour [grace; kindness]: but the way [path; course; journey] of transgressors [unfaithful; deceitful] is hard [rough; comes to sorrow]. 16 Every prudent [wise; cunning; sensible] man dealeth [takes hold of; executes] with knowledge [discernment between evil and good]: but a fool layeth [flaunts; spreads out for all to see; lacks discretion] open his folly [silliness].”
A man of integrity, one who walks in Truth and sincerity, earns the respect of his peers and the favor of God because he exercises wisdom and godly discernment in his journey. However, the path of the foolish, though celebrated and glamorized by the world, leads to an inevitable end Solomon describes as “hard” and “folly”.
My heart is often saddened when I observe professing Christians who turn from the way of the Lord and choose a path glamorized by the world, but whose end is filled with sorrow and shame.
Echoing Solomon’s exhortation to his son, I invite you to consider your path and the way you are going. Be a Moses and make the wise choice to endure the hardships of God’s people over the temporal, fleeting pleasures of sin (Hebrew 11:24-26). I close with the words of the psalmist who promised happiness [“Blessed”] and enduring joy to those who choose to follow the Lord and His Law.
Psalm 119:1-3 – “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in His ways.”
A personal note: Please forgive me for the absence of devotionals from Proverbs over the last 4 days. Sermon preparation and personal schedule demands have stretched my ability to devote time and effort to writing until today. I trust you have continued your discipline of reading a chapter from Proverbs a day in my absence.
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith