Proverbs 2:8-9

Proverbs 2:8-9 "He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path."


This passage offers both paternal counsel and paternal promise.  Solomon doesn’t offer his son only instruction; he offers him instruction with promise.  By promising his son results if he followed his father’s instruction, Solomon was attaching purpose to the instruction.  This wise parenting skill essentially provided a vision for his son to follow.  If this young man listened to his father, accepted his father’s counsel, sought wisdom fervently and urgently, then he would get wisdom, knowledge and understanding.  The promise provided an especially good reason to follow the counsel he was given.  In this case, the promise was not just virtue; the promise was the awakening of God in his life.  The person who passionately and sincerely seeks wisdom will open the door to God’s presence in his life.  When the door is opened to God, virtue comes in with Him.

When the door of one’s life is opened to God, the byproducts are delightful.  One of those byproducts is the understanding of righteousness, judgment, equity and every good path.  One of the most common questions by young people trying to make sense of a complicated world is: “Why do right when good people seem to have it worse than bad people?”  Adolescents commonly ask, “What is the point of doing right if it doesn’t pay to do right?”  They see the apparent popularity and prosperity of cheaters, thieves and bullies and think, “doing right doesn’t seem that sensible.”  Unfortunately, a lack of understanding of righteousness, judgment and equity isn’t reserved for the young or for the teenager.  Multitudes of adults, Christian adults even, ask those very same questions. 

“Why should I report my cash income and pay taxes?  Most people don’t do that and they seem to be doing just fine.”
“Why should I love my wife when she’s so mean to me?  It doesn’t matter what I do to her – she’s just going to be mean to me so I might as well as be mean to her.”
“Why should I respect my husband when he’s so unworthy?  It doesn’t seem fair that I have to respect him when he can be so condescending to me.”
“Why should I give to God His tithe when all of my unsaved non-tithing co-workers have more money than me?  It doesn’t seem fair that God would treat the unsaved better than He would treat His own children.”
“Why should I forgive my enemy when I didn’t do anything wrong and she isn’t even repentant?  If I forgive her, it will just enable and empower her to hurt me again.”

These and many other questions are examples of people who do not understand righteousness, judgment and equity.  An understanding of righteousness, or the act of doing rightly, comes from opening the door to God in your life.  An understanding of judgment, or the act of deciding rightly, comes from opening the door to God in your life.  An understanding of equity, or the act of dealing rightly, comes from opening the door to God in your life.  Without welcoming God into our minds, we will forever struggle with the purpose and meaning of righteousness in an “un-right” world.  Without welcoming God into our minds, we will forever struggle with the purpose and meaning of judgment in an “unjust” world.  Without welcoming God into our minds, we will forever struggle with the purpose and meaning of equity in an “unequal” world.

On the contrary, when God is invited into our lives by a sincere and passionate pursuit of virtue, we will understand the importance of righteousness.  When we fervently and urgently seek virtue, God will awaken in our lives and cause us to understand the importance of judgment and equity.  When we hear the mouth of God, we will understand that we are to do right regardless of circumstance.  We will then understand that we are to judge righteously regardless of circumstance.  No matter where, no matter who, no matter when, doing right is right.  No matter where, no matter who, no matter when, judging rightly is right.  No matter where, no matter who, no matter when, treating people equally is right.
 
“Why should I report my cash income and pay taxes?” 
Because it’s the right thing to do.
“Why should I love my wife when she’s so mean to me?” 
Because it’s the right thing to do.
“Why should I respect my husband when he’s so unworthy? 
Because it’s the right thing to do.
“Why should I give to God His tithe when all of my unsaved non-tithing co-workers have more money than me?” 
Because it’s the right thing to do.
“Why should I forgive my enemy when I didn’t do anything wrong and she isn’t even repentant?”
Because it’s the right thing to do.
“Why do right when good people seem to have it worse than bad people?” 
Because God keeps the path of judgment (verse 8).
“What is the point doing right if it doesn’t seem like it pays to do right?” 
Because God preserves the way of His saints (verse 8).

Solomon promised his son understanding if he followed his instruction.  The Bible promises understanding to the person who follows its instruction.  The person who intensely seeks virtue as for hid treasure will live life free of having unanswered questions pertaining to righteousness, judgment and equity.  The person who discovers God will not be troubled by the constant internal debate as to whether not it is best to do right.  The person who goes back and forth on whether it’s worth it to do the right thing is the person who has failed to discover God and receive virtue.  Christians in particular who question the profitability of righteousness are Christians who have put more effort into pursuing worldly success than they have into pursuing heavenly wisdom. 

Open your life to God’s wisdom and you will not question righteousness, judgment and equity because you will know that God keeps the path of judgment.  Open your life to God’s word and you will not question the value of these virtues because you will know that God preserves the way of His saints. 
Do you understand the meaning and importance of righteousness? 
Do you understand the meaning and importance of judgment? 
Do you understand the meaning and importance of equity? 
If not, then your life lacks the enlightening presence of God.  If not, then you have yet to follow Solomon’s counsel.  If not, then you do not possess wisdom. 
 
Why do right? 
Because it’s the right path to take.  It is the path that God protects and preserves.  It may not pay worldly dividends to do right but it always pays heavenly dividends to do right.  

Why do judge righteously?  Why treat people righteously and equally? 
Because it’s the right way to go.  It is the way that God keeps.  It may not pay in man’s eyes but it always pays in God’s eyes.  God honors righteousness, judgment and equity no matter where, no matter when, no matter who.  God blesses righteousness, judgment and equity no matter where, no matter when, no matter who.  A wise person understands that.  And because a wise person doesn’t wrestle with these truths, he or she embraces these virtues no matter the circumstances or conditions. 

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