Devotional Text and Meditation for the Day
“Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;”
Yesterday, we considered the priority of listening to and thus living by sound instruction. Today’s meditation verse helps us contemplate further the deep necessity for listening well by provoking our thoughts with the constructive, invaluable, and life impacting benefit of personally heeding the truth that is taught to us. In Proverbs chapter two, Solomon is extolling the grand significance of humbly receiving sound instruction and words of wisdom. Of course, the wisdom and understanding (2:2) Solomon refers to here we know to ultimately be the inspired Scriptures. But do not miss how Solomon proactively demonstrates how rightfully listening to truth involves the mind (2:1), the heart (2:2), the will (2:3), and the emotions (2:4). It is only those who give their whole being to hearing and heeding the truth, that God will bless with wisdom, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord (2:5-6). Listening correctly to God’s Word involves all of one’s being! The active language used in these verses paints a picture of the listener stretching every single muscle and member of one’s body and soul to hear what the Scriptures are saying (Josh 24:23; 1 Kings 8:58; Ps 119:36). How contrary this picture is to the passive observer and the mystical self-emptying of the mind often called for in the contemporary church when listening to God’s wisdom. To sum up these first verses clearly, if you are ever going to rightly hear and joyfully receive biblical truth, then you must passionately and humbly work at it with all you’ve got! When was the last time you “listened” to a sermon or “read” God’s Word with that exhaustive and enduring perspective?
Now, the encouragement from our meditation verse for today is, if one will work hard at hearing the Word, Solomon says you will receive some tremendous ethical blessings. Here, once again we realize how God’s Word is meant to give practical wisdom in order to purposefully change the way one walks or lives. Consider how the ethical or moral triad seen here in verse 9 has already been given as the purpose for why Solomon is writing all of this for his sons (1:3). Therefore, the result of listening well will be a life that discerns “righteousness” – meaning, the ability to know and apply the unchanging rule of God’s perfect character and standard in decision making. Next in the triad is the blessing of learning “justice” – meaning, the ability to know and apply the unchanging rule of God over all creation in making right judgments and choices especially within relationships. Lastly, we see the massive benefit to listening well is the blessing of learning “equity” – meaning, the ability to know and apply the unchanging and impartial care of God over His people in making fair and right choices when dealing with others. So, to summarize, this verse is saying that if we will saturate ourselves with God’s Word, “then,” we will grow in God’s character which will direct our conduct and our decisions in the “path” that is always “good.” The blessing of listening well ultimately impacts our entire ethical walk (obedience) because wisdom invades and transforms our entire person (disposition)! Therefore, as verse 10 says, when God’s people learn to listen well, God’s Word fills theirs hearts and refreshes their souls!
Pray today that God will help you grow in the delight of God’s Word by humbly teaching you how desperately you need it. Write down how Christ demonstrates and delivers through His Word: perfect righteousness, justice, and equity. Now, consider how God’s Word helps you live in this ungodly world marked by Christlike righteousness, justice, and equity.