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(#64) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:26-Which Way Are We Leaning?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:26: “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

The contrast is drawn between the “righteous” (those who obey God’s commandments, Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 John 3:3, 7) and the “wicked” (described in Genesis 13:13: “the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD”). The “righteous” should be cautious lest the “wicked” have greater influence on them than they do on the “wicked!” In Malachi 3:18, in the last book in the Old Testament, God keeps the line drawn between the two when He said: “Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.” Anyone who is “wicked,” however, may choose to become “righteous” by converting and obeying God. “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2-3). God’s invitation to the “wicked” to change is always open, for “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9; Luke 24:45-47).

Because the Hebrew allows a spread of translation, the King James Version is also given: Proverbs 12:26: “The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. {excellent: or, abundant}                            The way of righteousness is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6); for those who receive Him as He is and come to Him (John 1:11-13); who repent and are baptized in His name “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38); and are “registered in heaven” as a part of the “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:22-23); and “enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” on “the new and living way” He “consecrated for us” (Hebrews 10:19-20). Truly this is “more excellent” than “the way of the wicked,” which “seduces” them but produces no righteousness! And the wicked have seen this very point! King Saul said to David, after trying to kill him, but David spared Saul: “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil” (1 Samuel 24:17). King Joash “did evil” but the Prophet “Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, ‘O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!’ (2 Kings 13:14). In the New Testament, King Herod was pressured to kill John the Baptist, but could not bring himself to do it, “for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly” (Mark 6:20). Even in the King James Version, the “righteous” should not leave the way that even the “wicked” admit is “more excellent.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #converted, #more-excellent, #proverbs, #repentance, #righteous, #seduces, #wicked, #wisdom