Proverbs 12-15

Fruitcake and Nuts

“A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions is stupid.” Proverbs 12:2 NKJV

 In this, and previous chapters, we find that there are many paths in life for one to take. Described in these chapters are the characteristics of the wicked path, the lazy path, the self-focused prideful path, the foolish path, to name a few, and of course, the righteous path. Solomon is describing the types of actions that are common on each of the different paths. Each path offers a return to those who follow that particular path, but only one path has the favor of the Lord.

 The favor of the Lord is His blessing, and we have been reading of the benefits and blessings along the path of righteousness, the path of His favor. The other paths offer blessings as well. Some offer wealth, happiness, power, pride, ease, but even if these are obtained they do not last long. Hidden from the view of those on these paths are the broken dreams, disappointment, stumbling blocks, snares, and destruction.

 In this chapter, the previous chapters, and for several more to come, Solomon exposes what is hidden on the other paths and what the final destination really looks like. He also exposes the various behaviors of the people on each path and by these behaviors one can determine which path in life is being traveled.

 The path one chooses to travel will be determined by what one believes and will expose their character or lack thereof.  Why is knowing what path others are on important to us? Jesus said that people will be known by the fruit they produce. (Matthew 7:20) Fruit is the words that come out of a person’s mouth and the things a person does. They are a window to the heart. By listening and observing we can see what a person really believes in his heart. Now I know that lies and good gestures are like curtains on that window, but I have found that if one is lying the actions speak otherwise. Also, a few good gestures do not hide consistent negative or selfish behavior. So, again why is this important to us? It is because we are all in this world together rubbing elbows with each other.

 Often through work or other relationships we are in close contact with people on other paths. People are easily influenced when they want to be influenced especially when certain conditions exist in their lives like being emotionally hungry and excited about what they are being promised. So, when we listen to, or see the actions of a person on one of these paths, they can have the potential to influence us to wander off the path of righteousness if we are not careful.

 On the other hand, by our actions and words, we also have the potential to influence others off a path that leads to destruction and that is a good thing. We need to be in these relationships, but we also need to be spiritually healthy and not emotionally hungry looking for something to satisfy our pain or insecurity.

 When these times come we need to have a set place to go where we are fed spiritually or influenced with righteousness and not open the door to "wisdom" that could influence us to try another path. This is why Proverbs 12:26 says, The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. NKJV

It is important that we know the path we are on and where we need to go when we need refueling.

If you are on the wrong path make a decision today to change paths and turn to God’s Word, God’s house, and hang out with God’s people. God's promised rewards for the righteous are true and sure. We can depend on Him. So, keep a healthy source of influence close at hand.

Stay the course. Keep on the path. God will do what He says He will do.

Pastor Dave

 Homework today is Matthew 7:13-27