The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul (Proverbs 16:17, NKJV). Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life. No man can go to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). This means that if a person desires heaven, then he must listen and obey Jesus. We all travel on a highway through life; it is the desire of many to arrive at a destination that is restful and pleasant. The thoughtful person even desires that place to be heaven. But it won’t be heaven if he/she does not listen to Jesus and obey. The reason for this is simple: The Lord gave directions as to how to get there, but if a person hears nothing of those directions, then no possibility of arrival exists. Even if one did listen, but then changed her mind about listening further, the result will be straying from the less traveled path the Lord walked on, and onto a path well-traveled by many who don’t know where they are going. RT
It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness (Proverbs 16:12, NKJV). Any institution that desires longevity must have two things in place: a) a coherent structure, b) a moral foundation upon which it is built. Without a coherent structure (such as a community government, administrators of one sort or another, etc.), it is not long before confusion, followed by chaos begins to rule the day. Without a moral foundation, or an ethical policy, the structure will soon come tumbling down, falling in on itself. People within the structure won’t know what needs to be done, how it is to be done or even why it needs to be done. If the structure is in place with a moral foundation that is greater than the individual man, then the institution is strengthened. But if the leadership at top is committed to self-service rather than service to the community, then the community suffers. In time, the community breaks down, falling apart. How much more so about a nation?
“A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work (Proverbs 16:11, NKJV). In this exhortation of the Holy Spirit, the king over his people is not one who is to sustain his own pleasures with corrupting influences. Instead, he lives by the standard that is of God. When issues need to be properly judged, the king is to have a standard that is even-handed and right. The only standard known to man that is that way is the standard that belongs to the Lord. Too often man gets in the way of himself as he tries to administer justice; the subjectivity of evaluating motives makes even-handed justice difficult at best. A prime example of this is secular progressivism, or liberalism. There is no chance for justice to be rendered evenhandedly across the board because the standard of measurement is always floating, changing and fluid. My friends, reject the ways of man (Proverbs 14:12) and accept the ways of the Lord.
In Numbers 20, we are reminded that one can do the Lord’s work and still be accused of self-serving motives in their doing of it. This is what happened to Moses and Aaron as the children of Israel were on the cusp of entering into the land of promise, having traveled a long journey from Egypt to what we know is the land of Palestine today. Moses and Aaron responded to the murmuring going on with a segment of the Israelite community, but their response was not received well by the Lord. Already, the Lord was displeased with the larger community, but now His displeasure rested on the actions of Moses and Aaron. In this scenario (Numbers 20:1-13), there is a lesson for us. I suppose there is not a single reader of the Old Testament story that can’t relate in one way or another with Moses/Aaron, but whether one can relate or not, the proper response (lesson) is not to allow the one’s anger and emotion to control, but for the Lord to control. Not easy, but necessary.
A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment (Proverbs 16:10, KJV). In the role of governing, it is sometimes forgotten that great responsibilities under-gird the position. As a judge implements the force of law in relation to the accused, those in government should exercise discretion in leading. In our current society, many wonder if a judge or an elected official is properly executing the responsibilities of the position. In the ancient society, the Lord took away these temptations when He gave man His law. With regard to a king who reigned over the nation of Israel, that which came from his lips (or should have) was that which came from the mouth of God. History, however, tells us that even with these things in place by God, determined people with corrupted ways of thinking would not be thwarted. Many of Israel’s kings were not stopped because the people who were subject to these kings had themselves already stopped hearing the Lord. Thus, no divine sentence came from the mouth of a king, only corrupted words.
He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding (Proverbs 15:32, NKJV). This has a perfect application in a recent discussion I had on a Christian discussion page on Facebook. The conversation surrounded the role of the females in teaching in a mixed assembly of Christian men and women. There were two women who made a strong effort to say the teachings of the Holy Spirit in 1 Timothy 2:8-15 had limited application or no application at all to the church today. After a good bit of discussion, the women (and some men) saw that Paul’s words held sway and could not be easily dismissed. One became, I think, a little bit embittered by the conversation, while another seemed to be open to truth (hopefully so, anyway). As you look at the proverb, think about a personal application in an area of life that you have struggled with; have you allowed the teaching of God to instruct you? RT
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless. (Proverbs 14:16, ESV). Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the wise know the schemes or plans of man’s adversary (Satan; 2 Cor. 2:11). It is not because the wise servant of the Lord was privileged to set in the counsel of those who plan evil, but because the Lord’s servant is able to “smell a rat” afar off. Once the odor gets closer the plans of those who are evil becomes more exposed. On the other hand, those who have given little to no attention to the Lord’s way become reckless, careless, and trapped. In their self-confidence they step into a hole not seen.