Walk This Way (Proverbs 4:25-27)
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. —Proverbs 4:25-27
Do you know what geocaching is? It’s a treasure hunt using GPS devices. But, instead of valuable treasure, you’re trying to find notes and knickknacks left behind by others. These caches are usually well-hidden and only findable with GPS. Clearly, geocaching is about the hunt, not the treasure. For some reason, my wife is fanatical about geocaching!
While vacationing this summer, my wife set us on an adventure to find a cache. We followed our GPS. It led us to a trailhead. At that point, we had to decide which course to take—go right or go left? We decided to go right, but after going a few hundred yards and becoming frustrated in our search, we backtracked. So, we decided to go left. We could see from the GPS map on our phone where the cache was. We walked and walked, chasing that red pin on the map until we had no choice but to admit we were lost. Yes, even with a GPS and a clear-cut trail, we were lost and only getting farther away from the cache. It was utterly frustrating, but we pressed on. Finally, we found it. The treasure? A little note and a fast-food kid’s meal toy. Geocaching, after all, is about the journey, not the treasure.
One of the ways the Bible describes the life of a believer is as a journey. There are two paths, two ways. One way leads to life and blessing, while the other leads to death and cursing. In Proverbs 4, Solomon encourages his sons to stay on the path that leads to life and blessing. That path is the way of wisdom. The other path is the way of foolishness. It’s instructive for us to see how Solomon encourages his sons. First, he appeals to the great tradition (vv. 1-9). Solomon passes down to his sons what he received from his own father, David (v. 3): precepts and teaching (v. 2). In other words, Solomon hands down the great wisdom tradition that was handed down to him. Secondly, Solomon reminds his sons that there are, in fact, two paths (vv.10-19). One way leads to life (vv. 10-13). The other leads to death (vv. 14-17). Finally, Solomon calls his sons to walk in the way of wisdom (vv. 20-27).
Life is a journey, and the Christian life is a journey of a thousand daily steps of faithfulness on the path of righteousness. To walk on this path perfectly is impossible for us because we are born sinners with a predisposition to walk in the way of death and destruction. Thankfully, Jesus embraced the Father’s wisdom and has already walked the path of righteousness through his suffering and death. By walking in the way of wisdom, even in the face of suffering, Jesus has left us an example. We are on this journey called life, but we don’t have to guess which path to take. We simply follow Jesus’ steps (1 Peter 2:21).
Now, in the power of the Spirit and revelation of God’s word in Scripture, we can fix our eyes on Jesus and walk the path he has already blazed for us. To do that, we must not be distracted by all the things around us or on the path. We simply fix our eyes straight ahead (Proverbs 4:25). We consider every single step we take (Proverbs 4:26). And we make sure not to veer off the path Jesus has blazed for us: the path of righteousness – either to the right or the left (Proverbs 4:27). And know that as you follow Jesus’ steps, you will surely follow him into suffering, shame, and death. But remember, that because you are following Jesus, you are also tracing his steps into resurrection, glory, and eternal life.
What path are you on? Parents, we cannot lead our children down the path of wisdom if we are walking down the path of foolishness.
Parents, what is our responsibility in preparing our children to follow the way of wisdom?
Children, what is your responsibility to your parents who are trying to teach you the word of God and encouraging you to walk in the way of wisdom?