This second talk urging you to wholeheartedly seek God’s wisdom to be protected from evil concludes by declaring that the Lord’s blessing or curse depends on whether you have God’s wisdom or not. The picture painted here uses only two colors black and white, no gray. One either has God’s wisdom and is blessed of the Lord (vv. 20-21) or is without God’s wisdom and is cursed of the Lord (v. 22). It is important to remember when and to whom Proverbs was originally for, Israel, when the Mosaic Law was in force during the OT theocracy, the historical kingdom of God (cf. 1:1). With this in mind, “land” and “earth” (2:21-22) don’t refer to heaven or eternal life but where Israel would enjoy the Lord’s blessings as they obeyed him (cf. Deut 4:1). If you live by the fear of the Lord your character will be godly (“upright, blameless,” v. 21) and you will know and enjoy God’s blessings. If you reject God’s wisdom you will be without his protection from evil men and women (vv. 10-19) and become like them in character and end (v. 21).
- There is a necessary, essential close connection here—you must do good to avoid evil, and you must avoid evil to do good.
- Why do temptations appear in “grays” and not black and white?
- As “land” should be literally understood, what would “cut off, uprooted” involve for the Israelite who threw aside God’s Law of the land?
- How will your attitude and response to God’s Word affect the company you keep and your destination?
- Re-read this entire second “speech.” What changes do you need to make? How are you seeking the Lord? How is that seen in the direction of your life, who you keep company with, who and what influences you?