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Proverbs (Part 025) - Pro 2:20-22

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20. Pro 2:20 - "That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous."

A. Having finished warning of the dangers of the evil man (Pro 2:12-15) and of the strange woman (Pro 2:16-19), Solomon now exhorts his son of the blessings that come to the man that gets wisdom.

B. Taken alone, Pro 2:20 would not be a complete sentence.
i. But in the context of the chapter, it is an example of proper grammar.
ii. The reason being is that a grammatical function called an ellipsis is being used.
iii. Ellipsis - 2. Gram. The omission of one or more words in a sentence, which would be needed to complete the grammatical construction or fully to express the sense; concr. an instance of such omission.
iv. The things that were spoken of earlier, such as the acquisition of wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding which deliver a man from evil men and strange women, are the prerequisites necessary to walk in the way of good men and keep the paths of the righteous.
v. Those things are left out of the beginning of the sentence in verse 20 to limit redundancy, and also because they are assumed because of the context.
a. If it were not for the ellipsis, verse 20 would read something like this:
b. "When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, to deliver thee from the strange woman, that thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous."
vi. Another clear example of the use of an ellipsis is Psa 136.
a. The words "O give thanks" are used in verses 1-3, but are left out of the beginning of verses 4-7, 10, 13, 16, & 17 because the reader assumes it when reading the Psalm.
b. The words "O give thanks unto him" are left out of the beginning of verses 23 and 25 for the same reason.

C. That thou mayest walk in the way of good men
i. Walking in the way of good men is living a life that is both guided by God and pleasing to Him: "the steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way" (Psa 37:23).
ii. The possession of wisdom leads a man to good company, which in turn acts as a positive influence in his life, leading to greater wisdom: "he that walketh with wise men shall be wise" (Pro 13:20).
iii. The scripture describes a good man as a man who:
a. "sheweth favour, and lendeth [and] guide[s] his affairs with discretion" (Psa 112:5)
b. "obtaineth favour of the LORD" (Pro 12:2)
c. "leaveth an inheritance to his children's children" (Pro 13:22),
d. "shall be satisfied from himself" (Pro 14:14),
e. "out of the good treasure of [his] heart bringeth forth good things" (Mat 12:35),
f. is "full of the Holy Ghost and of faith" (Act 11:24), and
g. whose friends would die for him (Rom 5:7).
iv. Therefore, the man who walks in the way of good men...
a. will be generous towards the poor, yet wise when helping them.
b. will be blessed of the LORD.
c. will manage and save his money so that he has enough to leave not only to his children, but also to his grandchildren.
d. will not depend on others nor on material wealth for his satisfaction.
e. will treasure up good in his heart and bring it forth for the benefit of others in due time.
f. will be full of the Holy Spirit and faith.
g. will have friends who love him so dearly that they would lay down their lives for him.
v. Walking in the way alongside good men not only increases a man's wisdom and makes him a better person, but it also brings bountiful blessings into his life and protects him from danger. For example:
a. Lot's life was spared because of His association with his faithful uncle Abraham (Gen 19:29).
b. God blessed Laban for Jacob's sake (Gen 30:27).
c. Potiphar was blessed and prospered because of God's favor upon Joseph (Gen 39:3-6).
d. Even the criminals who sailed with Paul to Rome were brought through a horrible storm at sea, escaping death because of the godly man that was on board with them (Act 27:24).
vi. There is a blessing in store for the man who walks in the way of good men and keeps the paths of the righteous, for the LORD "shall keep [his] foot from being taken" (Pro 3:26).

21. Pro 2:21 - "For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it."

A. As Christians seek and obtain wisdom (Pro 2:1-6) and walk in the way of good men in the paths of the righteous (Pro 2:20), they "walk before the LORD in the land of the living" (Psa 116:9).

B. If they are upright, they shall dwell in that good land, and if they are perfect they shall remain in it.
i. Upright adj. - III. fig. 8. a. Of persons: Adhering to or following correct moral principles; of unbending integrity or rectitude; morally just, honest, or honourable.
ii. Perfect adj. - B. Signification. I. General senses. 1. Thoroughly made, formed, done, perfomed, carried out, accomplished. Obs. 4. a. In the state of complete excellence; free from any flaw or imperfection of quality; faultless.
C. Job is an example of such a man who "was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil" (Job 1:1).
D. The path on which the upright man travels is the road of righteousness which leads him away from evil (Pro 16:17).
i. There will always be wicked men who try to entice him to wander out of the way, but with the help and mercy of God, if he continues in it, he will possess good things (Pro 28:10; Psa 37:18).
ii. The perfect man not only is blessed by dwelling in the land of the living, but, more importantly, "the upright shall dwell in [God's] presence" (Psa 140:13).
iii. In that God is "the God of peace" (Rom 15:33), the end of the perfect and upright man is therefore peace (Psa 37:37; 2Co 13:11).

E. While Solomon's words in Pro 2:21 are generally applicable to all of God's children throughout all time, they were particularly relevant to the Jews under the Old Testament.
i. God's covenant with the nation of Israel, that they would be a peculiar people to Him and an holy nation, was a conditional covenant that depended on their obedience (Exo 19:5-6).
ii. The if-then statement in the covenant necessitates the reversal of those promises if Israel did not keep the covenant and obey God's voice.
iii. Israel was later promised that if they loved God, trusted in Him, and kept His commandments, they would dwell and remain in the land of Canaan (Deut 11:8-9; Deut 30:15-20; Psa 37:3, 29).
iv. These verses clearly show that Israel's dwelling in the land was conditioned upon their righteous obedience to God.

F. The history of the nation of Israel is one of a people who continually rejected God, sinned against Him, and were judged for it.
i. As a nation, they took not heed to the LORD's warnings against being seduced by the strange woman (Pro 2:16-19) and turned to idolatrous false religion and "played the harlot" and spiritually "committed adultery" against their God (Jer 3:6-9).
a. When Israel rebelled against the LORD in the days of the kings, He sent the Babylonians and destroyed Jerusalem and removed them from the land, carrying them captive into Babylon for seventy years (2Ch 36:14-21).
b. When the seventy years of captivity were fulfilled, the LORD allowed them to return to their land as He had promised by the prophets (Jer 29:10).
ii. For the next four hundred years, Israel continued in their rebellion against God which culminated in the rejection and murder of their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ (Joh 1:11; Act 3:14-15; Act 7:52; 1Th 2:14-15).
a. In 70AD, the space of their repentance was up and the LORD sent in the Roman armies which completely destroyed Jerusalem and either killed or carried away captive all of the Jews who remained in the city (Luk 21:20-24).
b. Those that call themselves Jews today (whether they are Jews by blood or not) do not believe in the true God because they reject the Lord Jesus Christ who is God manifest in the flesh (Joh 1:1, 14; 1Ti 3:16).
c. They hate Jesus Christ, which their writings in the Talmud show (see sermon series called Israel: The Synagogue of Satan).
d. Therefore, they hate God the Father (Luk 10:16; Joh 15:23-24).
e. They don't believe that Jesus is the Christ and are therefore antichrists who have not God (1Jo 2:22-23; 2Jo 1:9).
f. They don't keep God's commandments, the chief of which is to believe on Jesus Christ the Messiah (1Jo 3:23; Deu 18:15, 18-19 c/w Act 3:20-26).
iii. Having not believed their own scriptures, and having rejected Jesus Christ, they are therefore not upright, nor perfect, and thus they have no right nor promise from God to dwell in the land of Palestine.
a. Therefore, the modern nation of Israel is not of God, nor is it a fulfillment of any of God's promises to Israel.
b. They are rather "them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan" (Rev 2:9).

22. Pro 2:22 - "But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it."

A. Whereas the perfect and upright will dwell and remain in the land of the living (Pro 2:21), the wicked shall be cut off from the earth.
B. Cut v. - 56. cut off. d. To put to death (suddenly or prematurely), to bring to an untimely end.
C. The following verses make clear that to be "cut off from the earth" is to be "put to death" (Gen 9:11; Exo 9:15; Exo 31:14).
D. The LORD has declared that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Eze 18:4).
i. The righteous dwell on the earth while the wicked dwell in the earth when they are cut off from the earth.
ii. But even to the wicked, in mercy, the LORD gives a space of repentance before He cuts them off.
iii. God told Abraham that his seed would dwell in a strange land for four hundred years before being delivered out of it and given the land of Canaan (Gen 15:13-16).
iv. The inhabitants of the land would eventually be cut off, but not for a long time because "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full" (Gen 15:16).
v. God will dig about and dung around a tree slated for destruction to see if it will produce fruit, "and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that [he shall] cut it down" (Luk 13:9).
vi. Jesus taught His followers that they were not exempt from the judgment of the LORD, but would die the death of sinners if they didn't repent (Luk 13:4-5).

E. The Christian who would have "length of days, and long life, and peace" (Pro 3:2) and not be cut off from the earth and rooted out of it (Pro 2:22) need only follow Solomon's prescription given in this second chapter of Proverbs to obtain it.
i. If he will receive God's words and hide His commandments in his heart, incline his ear unto wisdom and apply his heart to understanding, cry after knowledge and lift up his voice for understanding, and seek it as silver and search for it as for hid treasures, then he will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God, and the LORD will give him wisdom, knowledge, and understanding which will keep his paths and preserve his way (Pro 2:1-9).
ii. When wisdom has entered into his heart and knowledge is pleasant unto his soul, discretion will preserve him and understanding will keep him, delivering him from the evil man and the strange woman, leading him to walk in the way of good men and keep the paths of the righteous, and enabling him to dwell in the land of the living in his uprightness living an abundant Christian life (Pro 2:10-21).