OBEDIENCE FROM THE HEART PRESERVES YOUR LIFE AS YOU PURSUE THE PRIORITY OF THE PATH OF WISDOM
(:1-4) INTRODUCTION: IMPORTANCE OF OBEYING GOD FROM THE HEART
A. (:1) Pay Attention
“Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,
And give attention that you may gain understanding.”
B. (:2) Good Stuff
“For I give you sound teaching;
Do not abandon my instruction.”
C. (:3-4) Generational Voice of Experience
“When I was a son to my father,
Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
Then he taught me and said to me,
‘Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live’”
I. (:5-9) PRIORITY OF PURSUING PATH OF WISDOM
A. Go For It
“Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.”
B. Make it Top Priority — Wisdom is the principal thing
“Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.”
C. (:8-9) Receive the Reward
“Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”
II. (:10-13) PATH OF WISDOM TIED TO LONG LIFE AND SECURITY
A. (:10) Tied to Long Life
“Hear, my son, and accept my sayings.
And the years of your life will be many.”
B. (:11-12) Tied to Security
“I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.”
C. (:13) Tied to Quality of Life
“Take hold of instruction; do not let go.
Guard her, for she is your life.”
III. (:14-19) PATH OF WICKED TIED TO DARKNESS AND INSECURITY
A. (:14-15) Warning Against Path of Wicked
“Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not proceed in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, do not pass by it;
Turn away from it and pass on.”
B. (:16-17) Path of Wicked Characterized by Malicious Violence
“For they cannot sleep unless they do evil;
And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.”
C. (:18-19) Contrast Between Path of Righteous and Path of Wicked
1. (:18) Path of Righteous – Tied to Light and Life
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”
2. (:19) Path of Wicked – Tied to Darkness and Insecurity
“The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.”
Kidner: “the main contrast with verse 18 is between danger and constant bewilderment on the one hand, and safety and growing certainty on the other. Jeremiah 23:12 takes the imagery of verse 19 still further.
IV. (:20-27) STAY THE COURSE
A. (:20-21) Pay Attention
“My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.”
B. (:22) Path of Obedience Tied to Life and Health
“For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their whole body.”
C. (:23) Condition of the Heart is Critical
“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.”
D. (:24) Truth and Integrity Essential
“Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put devious lips far from you.”
E. (:25-27) Don’t Get Distracted
“Let your eyes look directly ahead,
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
Watch the path of your feet,
And all your ways will be established.
Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.”