Read to learn, not just to get done. Read to hear, not just to learn.
20 My child, keep your father’s commandment…21 bind them on your heart always…
As I was reading yesterday’s Proverbs chapter, verse 21 caught my eye, so I googled it:
Lexicon Proverbs 5:21
click on biblehub.com
What I found was very interesting.
|NASB LexiconNASB ©HebrewStrong’sOrigin|
For the ways דַּרְכֵי־ (dar·chei-) 1870: way, road, distance, journey, manner- from darak
of a man אִ֑ישׁ (ish;) 376: man- from an unused word
are before נֹ֨כַח (no·chach) 5227: in front of, opposite to- from an unused word
the eyes עֵינֵ֣י (ei·nei) 5869: an eye- of uncertain derivation
of the LORD, (Yah·weh) 3068: the proper name of the God of Israel- from havah
And He watchesמְפַלֵּֽס ׃ (me·fal·les.) 6424: to weigh, make level- denominative verb from peles
all וְֽכָל־ (ve·chol-) 3605: the whole, all- from kalal
his paths. מַעְגְּלֹתָ֥יו (ma’·ge·lo·tav) 4570: an entrenchment, track- from the same as egel
The phrase, “and He watches,” leaves us thinking that God may have a great big hammer that He is going to use on us. But, the rest of the definition shows us that God wants to:
- Watch our path; other translations use “examine,” “observe,” “survey,” and, “ponder,” to name a few.
- Weigh– the best route for us. He can see ahead and He knows what is good for us relationally with Him and what is harmful. He doesn’t want us to suffer wrath (consequences).
- Make level– He even goes ahead of us and smooths out the way for us. Does He make it easy? Certainly not. We learn from resistance, not routine. Resistance makes us discern and decide, and it makes us stronger. Too much routine puts us to sleep; after a while, we go on stand-by and quit thinking. To me, making our paths level means that God makes it clear to us which is the best path to take. It may not be the easiest or the most fun, but it IS the best path.
So, now when I read this verse, I see the loving God that Jesus says He is. And, if I do not heed His direction, then I suffer verse 22,
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.
Notice that in both cases (deeds of the wicked and the cords of their sins) are the result of their lack of trust in the Lord’s choice of paths. The consequences of their choices are what punish them. Even then, adversity is a great task-master:
20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction [by allowing us to endure the consequences of our own actions], your teachers will be hidden no more [obvious to you]; with your own eyes you will see them [the Lord’s hand in our discipline]. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you [the Holy Spirit], saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:20-21
It wasn’t until I began to read the OT in light of Jesus’ revelation of the character of the Father (i.e. LOVE) that I read this verse correctly. It makes me wonder what else I need to study…!
Abba, please keep opening my eyes to the truth of who You are. I want to know Your character so that I can build it in my life. I want wisdom, understanding and knowledge (Proverbs 24:3-4), so that I can be just like You, Jesus. Spirit, lead me, and I will follow no matter what awaits me on that path, for You will be with me. Who could ask for anything more?! Amen.