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Proverbs 2:20 (Mini Sermon)

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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).