Proverbs 19:20-23 – Choose the way of godly wisdom in your youth

walking in God's willWe will consider four proverbs for today’s devotional from Proverbs 19:20-23.

Proverbs 19:20 – “Hear [hearken; obey; listen] counsel [advice; purpose; determine], and receive [take hold of] instruction [reproof; warning; chastisement; discipline], that thou mayest be wise [wise in word and action; restrain from acting in an evil manner] in thy latter end [last; close of life].”

God has blessed many of you with parents, teachers and pastors who represent a lifetime of study and a wealth of experiences you would do well to tap into when making decisions.  Solomon taught his son that those who would be wise in their old age seek and receive instruction in their youth.  While the foolish reject godly counsel and discipline, the wise accept instruction and reproof with humility.  It is that humility, an attitude that receives instruction, which distinguishes men and women of wisdom in their old age.

Proverbs 19:21 – There are many [great; much; chief; abundant] devices [imaginations; thoughts; inventions] in a man’s heart [mind; seat of affections]; nevertheless the counsel [purpose; advice; plan] of the LORD, that shall stand [arise; stand up; come about].”Prov 19.21

It is the nature of man’s heart to wrestle with, and often embrace flighty, whimsical doctrines, thoughts and aspirations.  The Apostle Paul expressed his concern that the believers in Ephesus would spiritually mature in Christ and “be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).  Why would we accept the foolish thoughts and philosophies of man when we have at our hands the inspired, eternal, immutable Word of God?  The counsel and purpose of the Lord shall not fail!

Proverbs 19:22 – “The desire [lust; greed; longing; appetite] of a man is his kindness [mercy; goodness; steadfast love; loyalty; devotion]: and a poor [needy; destitute] man is better than a liar [deceitful; falsehood].”

Good men, men who have known God’s grace and forgiveness, are men of integrity and their nature is inherently kind, loving, loyal and devoted to family and friends (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a).   It is far better to befriend a poor man with integrity than befriend a liar whose nature is to deceive and seek his own.

Fear of the Lord1Proverbs 19:23 – “The fear [reverence; terror] of the LORD tendeth to life [living]: and he that hath it [the fear of the Lord] shall abide [remain; lodge; spend the night] satisfied [fully; absolutely satisfied]; he shall not be visited [concerned] with evil [misery; distress].”

To fear and revere the Lord as Sovereign is not only the way of godly wisdom; it is also the way of Eternal Life.  The way of sin and wickedness is a path to destruction and hell (Romans 6:23), but those who choose to walk in the way of righteousness are not only content, they are also spared the sorrow that haunts the lives of the wicked (Romans 8:28-29; Psalm 91:10).

Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith