Proverbs 3:1-8 “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
In Proverbs 14:12, the writer tells us of a course of life or mode of action that is deceptive and divisive to the natural mind of the creature. What appears to be pleasant and proper; ultimately yields pestilence, pain, and punishment; “the end thereof are the ways of death.” “Thanks be unto God”, our compassionate Sovereign doesn’t leave us to our own devises! In Proverbs 3:1-8, He places before us “The Way of Blessing.” Within the text we discover that it is a balanced way; four negative admonitions; “forget not” (vs.1), “Let not” (vs.3), “lean not” (vs.5), and “be not” (vs.7), offset four positives.
I want to consider the four positive admonishments of the Sovereign that issue the bountiful prospects of blessing. For those that would travel the way of blessing, there is a law you fortify, “keep my commandments.” The ordinances, precepts, and commandments of God’s Word are to be guarded, protected, and maintained. The Psalmist said, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:9 & 11). God said of the man in the way of blessing; “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2).
In the way of blessing, there is a love you foster, “write them upon the table of thine heart.” Inscribed upon the will and intellect is a love for the person of God and the purity of God. The word, “mercy” means kindness toward God and comes from a word meaning to bow the neck in courtesy. The word “truth” means faithful, right, trustworthiness. The Psalmist said, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). Those in the way of blessing aren’t captives of the law, but constrained by love; “For the love of Christ constraineth us” (II Corinthians 5:14). The apostle of love said, “we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3).
In the way of blessing, there is a leading you follow, “In all thy ways acknowledge him.” The simple truth is you can go your way or God’s way, but not both! Our Lord said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24). Proverbs 14 tells us the end result of our way, but when one is willing to recognize, mark or have respect for God’s wisdom and discernment; God will lead them to a well trodden path that is sure to be straight, even, right, and prosperous.
In the way of blessing, there is a learning you favor, “fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” There are two spheres of learning; “wise in thine own eyes” or the wisdom of God, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). The right kind of learning generates reverence and righteousness; two things necessary to have a bountiful entrance into heaven.
We stand at the place were two ways meet. The results of both are bound by promise; one promises pestilence, pain, and punishment; the other promises prosperity and peace. The way is before you, choose wisely!