Life is a journey. You began that journey on the day you were born, and someday your journey on earth will end and you will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Today you are somewhere in between where you came from and where you are going — and your direction determines your destination.
This chapter of Proverbs presents two possible trajectories for your life, two paths that lead in opposite directions. The first path is the way of wisdom, the road that leads to the blessings and protection of God. You will not find this path by accident — you seek it out (v.4) by seeking the Lord. As you follow His commandments (v.1) and His insights (v.3), you will inevitably find yourself walking with Him.
As you walk this path of wisdom with the Lord, He will be a shield for you, guarding and watching over your journey (v.7-8). He will give you wisdom all along the way — the kind of wisdom that leads to a life of “righteousness and justice and equity” (v.9). And you will be spared all the heartache and emptiness that is to be found on the other path…
The description in verses 12-19 paints of picture of a God-less, wasted life. Without the wisdom of God the human heart will always be pulled toward that which is evil, perverted, dark, and immoral. In what will be a recurring theme in Proverbs, Solomon equates this “crooked path” (v.15) with the futility and foolishness of a weekend fling with an adulteress woman. The thrill of flattery and sensual pleasure last only briefly, but the effects of following a path like that are permanent. It is clear that this road is a highway to hell.
The purpose of this warning — and the distinction between the two paths of life — is stated in verse 20: “So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.” There is no future in the way of the wicked (v.22), but when you walk with God your future is secure.
Many years after King Solomon wrote this truth, King Jesus affirmed it. As you read His words, let them sink in. Which way are you going?
Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.