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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Proverbs 2:20-22

Proverbs 2:20-22 (KJV)  20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Proverbs 2:20-22 (NKJV)  20 So you may walk in the way of goodness,
And keep to the paths of righteousness.
21 For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
22 But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.

Proverbs 2:20-22 (NIV)  20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

Proverbs 2:20-22 (CEV)  20 Follow the example
of good people
and live an honest life.
21 If you are honest and innocent,
you will keep your land;
22 if you do wrong
and can never be trusted,
you will be rooted out.

Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all who fear You, And of those who keep Your precepts.

Hebrews 6:8-12 (NLT) 8 But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.
9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
So - לְמַ֗עַן (lə·ma·‘an) - Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 4616: Purpose -- intent

you will follow - תֵּ֭לֵךְ (tê·lêḵ) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

in the ways - בְּדֶ֣רֶךְ (bə·ḏe·reḵ) - Preposition-b | Noun - common singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

of good men - טוֹבִ֑ים (ṭō·w·ḇîm) - Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

and keep to - תִּשְׁמֹֽר׃ (tiš·mōr) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8104: To hedge about, guard, to protect, attend to

the paths - וְאָרְח֖וֹת (wə·’ā·rə·ḥō·wṯ) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - common plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 734: A well-trodden road, a caravan

of the righteous - צַדִּיקִ֣ים (ṣad·dî·qîm) - Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6662: Just, righteous

but the wicked - וּ֭רְשָׁעִים (ū·rə·šā·‘îm) - Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7563: Wrong, an, bad person

will be cut off - יִכָּרֵ֑תוּ (yik·kā·rê·ṯū) - Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3772: To cut, to destroy, consume, to covenant

and the unfaithful - וּ֝בוֹגְדִ֗ים (ū·ḇō·wḡ·ḏîm) - Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 898: To cover, to act covertly, to pillage

{will} be uprooted - יִסְּח֥וּ (yis·sə·ḥū) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5255: To pull or tear away

the upright - יְשָׁרִ֥ים (yə·šā·rîm) - Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3477: Straight, right

will inhabit - יִשְׁכְּנוּ‪‬‪‬ (yiš·kə·nū-) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 7931: To settle down, abide, dwell

and the blameless - וּ֝תְמִימִ֗ים (ū·ṯə·mî·mîm) - Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8549: Entire, integrity, truth

will remain in it - יִוָּ֥תְרוּ (yiw·wā·ṯə·rū) - Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3498: To jut over, exceed, to excel, to remain, be left, to leave, cause to abound, preserve

After reading through the different translations and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, it would be a good idea to stop here and try writing these 3 verses in your own words.

Here is my version of Proverbs 2:20-22:
With purpose and intent, you will walk in the ways made by good men. You will follow their course of action to do what is good. You will guard and pay attention to the well trodden paths of the just and righteous men who go before you. The wicked will be cut off and destroyed and the unfaithful, who act covertly, will be uprooted and torn away. The upright will settle down and dwell in the land and those who live their lives in integrity and truth will remain in the land, excelling and abounding.

Psalm 17:4-5 (BSB)  4 As for the deeds of men— by the word of Your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. 5 My steps have held to Your paths; my feet have not slipped.

Psalm 17:4-5 (NLT)  4 I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. 5 My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.

We are to be wise enough to know the difference between good people and bad people, and make a deliberate choice to follow the example of good people. This saves us much heartache on this earth and prepares us for Heaven where we have stored up treasures and rewards. 

Of course, we must realize no human being is faultless, sinless and perfect. We ultimately must follow the only One who was sinless, Jesus Christ. A human being can disappoint us, let us down. Christ never does. He came to give us the example of a sinless man, one who completely trusts in God. And we follow Him. 

But there are people we can learn from. People who can mentor us in godly ways. People who can be good examples. "Come let us serve together."

There are plenty of people who don't mind being a bad example and who desperately want you to follow in their footsteps. "Come, let us sin together."

It is up to you to make a wise decision as to who to follow.

I was very blessed to be born in a family of believers. My parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, great aunts and great uncles, cousins, siblings... all were Christians who really tried to walk a godly life. When I was with family, I was taken care of, loved, and had good examples. I never had to be afraid of them. They were never violent, drunk, abusive, drugged or thieving. I was never molested or beaten. They spoke lovingly to me and took good care of me. I had a LOT of good examples to follow and I have learned so much from them about God and how I should live in a way that is pleasing to God. I learned how to love God from them. I cannot thank God enough for my family!

Maybe you have had a good family but you haven't really thought about it or been thankful for them. There seem to be a lot of young people who don't seem to appreciate the good family they have. They seem to think their family is just trying to get in the way of their having a good time. Their family is just an obstacle in their path of self destruction and they resent their family. They just want their family to disappear so they can do whatever they want. I pray, one day, you will realize how blessed you have been to have a family who loves you and would try to save you from self destruction. They aren't trying to smother you, but are trying to protect you, provide for you and lead you in a better way. You are their responsibility and they love you enough to try everything to help you. I have seen drug addicts despise their families because their families get between them and their drugs. I have seen girls and boys despise their families because their families get between them and their bad and destructive friends. I have seen young people despise their families because they get between them and a destructive love relationship. I've read about real people who have killed their loving parents and/or siblings in order to get rid of them so they can be with whoever they wanted to be with or do whatever they wanted to do. See my book review on Runaway Devil.

Maybe you didn't have a good family. Maybe your family only taught you suspicion, deceit, rebellion, thieving, violence, sexual perversion. I personally knew a family who lived life like this. The only money they made was from stealing, selling drugs, prostitution, fake lawsuits, etc. They lived a life of violence, jail, drug and alcohol addiction. Their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren followed in the same paths. They don't know any different.

But there are better ways. There are better people. Maybe other family members, a pastor, church members, friends, teachers, co-workers, neighbors. Always keeping in mind that no human is perfect, is there not someone you can emulate and who could disciple you in the ways of God? Of course there are, so find them. Watch and observe. Then befriend and, finally, ask them for advice. Join a good Bible study group of peers, or a Sunday School class. Again, human beings are going to be in different stages of spiritual growth and you want someone who shows some spiritual maturity. But no human being is going to be sinless, that's an unreasonable expectation. No human can live up to perfection. But there are those whom you can learn from and who can be a good influence on you. If someone lets you down, please remember Jesus Christ will never let you down. He is the only One you can put complete trust and faith in. A human being still has a sin nature that tempts them. Jesus Christ is the only pure and perfect One and we should put our trust in Him and Him only. We can learn from others, but only in so far as they point us to Christ. We all know of pastors who have fallen into some grievous sin. I remember the first time I encountered this and it shook my faith. How could a pastor, whom I had looked up to and learned from, do something like that? But I learned from that experience too. They are human like me. I shouldn't have put them on a pedestal and had unrealistic expectations. I should trust in Jesus, not a pastor. I did learn a lot from that pastor and I'm grateful I did. But his fall didn't destroy my faith in Jesus. It drove me to Jesus.

The last verses in Proverbs chapter two, tell us the wicked will be uprooted from the land. In studying Revelation, I learned God will create a New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem and only the saved will be there for eternity. Those who are not forgiven and saved through Jesus Christ, will end up suffering the Lake of Fire for eternity. We are not righteous and blameless because of good behavior. We can never be good enough. It's why we need a Savior! We are righteous, blameless and upright only because Jesus cleanses us and give us His righteousness! My parents were wonderful people who were Christians. But they could not forgive me and clothe me with righteousness. My pastor cannot. My friends cannot. Only Jesus can! So, I am saved and living in the New Earth for eternity because of Him! But I will be there and the unsaved will not.

This is an eternal decision. It has repercussions throughout the rest of your life and your eternal life. Hell is not a big party filled with your drinking buddies where you can do anything you want. This is serious. Hell will be one of eternal regret and knowing you had a way of escape but you chose not to take it. Because of your choice, you suffer eternal punishment. It doesn't have to be that way. Take your way of escape through Jesus Christ! God loves you and wants you and there is no sin that Jesus can't, or won't, forgive!

My parents

  • Have you identified bad examples in your life? How have they influenced you? Have you gotten into trouble because they influenced you? What kind of trouble have you experienced because you listened to people who were bad influences?
  • Have you found people who have been a good influence on you? Who have supported you and encouraged you to walk in good paths?
  • If you haven't found some good mentors, are you looking for people who will help you do good things? Where are you looking?
  • Have you been let down by someone you thought would be a good mentor?
  • If you have, you are not alone. How has it affected your relationship with God? Has your faith been shaken or strengthened?
  • As a Christian, have you sinned? Are you perfect? Have you never let someone down? Do you expect others to forgive and give you a break? Then you must be willing to forgive the one who let you down and adjust your unrealistic expectations. If you expect perfection, you are setting that person up for failure and therefore your disappointment.
  • As a Christian, haven't you sinned, repented and asked Jesus' forgiveness many times? Of course you have and you should. And Jesus always forgives and cleanses. Therefore, try to allow the person who disappointed you the same grace. They may have repented and asked forgiveness, or God will lead them to that point soon. Be willing to extend grace just as you would expect grace extended to you.
  • Have you been a good example for your family and friends to follow?
  • Have you ever discipled someone (family, friends, church friends, co-workers)? A disciple is one who imitates and learns from a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ. All of life points to Jesus Christ and we need someone who points us to Christ and leads us in seeing Jesus everywhere and in everything. Are you that kind of person? If you only commiserate with someone in the dumps, you aren't discipling, you are commiserating. If you are showing love and telling them God loves them, you aren't just commiserating but discipling. There is a difference.
  • Thinking about your relationships at home and in the world, how can you be a good example and more of a discipler? How can you point them to Christ? How can you help strengthen their relationship with God?
  • Are you the budding new Christian? Or are you the mature Christian who is helping the newbies?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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