Proverbs (Part 044) - Pro 4:18-20


18. Pro 4:18 - "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." A. But the path of the just is as the shining light, i. But conj. - III. In a compound sentence, connecting the two co-ordinate members; or introducing an independent sentence connected in sense, though not in form, with the preceding. 23. As adversative conjunction, appending a statement contrary to, or incompatible with, one that is negatived: On the contrary. ii. "The path of the just" is here set in contrast to "the path of the wicked" (Pro 4:14). a. Just adj. - 1. That does what is morally right, righteous. just before (with) God or, simply, just: Righteous in the sight of God; justified. Now chiefly as a Biblical archaism. b. The path of the just is uprightness (Isa 26:7). c. Uprightness n. - 1. The state or condition of being sincere, honest, or just; equity or justness in respect of principle or practice; upright quality or conduct; moral integrity or rectitude. d. Those that walk on the path of the just walk in righteousness and uprightness keeping the commandments of God (Luk 1:6). iii. John the Baptist was called a "shining light" (Joh 5:35). a. He bore witness of Christ who is the light of the world (Joh 1:6-8). b. John preached repentance (Mat 3:1-2; Mar 1:4). c. Therefore, those on the path of the just bear witness of Christ and repent of their sins. iv. Jesus is called the Sun of righteousness (Mal 4:2). a. When Jesus appeared to Paul, He did so as a shining light greater than the brightness of the sun (Act 26:13). b. Jesus is called "the Just" (Act 3:14). c. Jesus is the Light of the world and those that follow Him shall not walk in darkness (Joh 8:12). d. Therefore, when we follow Christ, we are walking on the path of the just which is as a shining light. v. The path of the just is also as a shining light because it is illuminated by the word of God which is a lamp to our path (Psa 119:105; Pro 6:23). B. that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. i. The further we walk on the path of the just, the more the light shines. a. It's like headlights on a car that move with the car continuously illuminating the road ahead of it. b. We don't need to be able to see the whole way to the end of the road to get where we're going. c. We only need to be able to see far enough to take the next few steps. ii. When we walk by faith, believing that God will provide more light as needed as we go, we will make it to the perfect day when we will be present with the Lord (2Co 5:6-8). a. Perfect adj. - 1. Thoroughly made, formed, done, performed, carried out, accomplished. Obs. (last usage in 1567) 3. a. In the state proper to anything when completed; complete; having all the essential elements, qualities, or characteristics; not deficient in any particular. (last usage in 1571) 4. a. In the state of complete excellence; free from any flaw or imperfection of quality; faultless. But often used of a near approach to such a state, and hence capable of comparison, perfecter (= more nearly perfect), perfectest (= nearest to perfection). b. The perfect day is the day of Christ when we will be glorified and made perfect (Php 3:11-12) and will shine as the sun in the kingdom of our Father (Mat 13:43). 19. Pro 4:19 - "The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble." A. The way of the wicked is as darkness: i. Darkness n. - 1. Absence or want of light (total or partial). 4. fig. a. The want of spiritual or intellectual light; esp. common in biblical imagery. ii. Whereas the path of the just is as the shining light (Pro 4:18), the path of the wicked is as darkness. a. They follow their father the devil who is the prince of the rulers of darkness (Eph 6:12). b. They don't have the light of the word of God to illuminate their way. c. They don't have the light of Christ in their hearts to guide them, therefore they walk in darkness (Joh 8:12). iii. Wisdom is likened unto light and folly is likened unto darkness (Ecc 2:13). a. Wise men walk in light. b. Fools walk in darkness (Ecc 2:14). B. they know not at what they stumble. i. Those that walk in darkness know not where they are going (Joh 12:35). a. Spiritual darkness blinds the eyes (1Jo 2:11). b. They therefore stumble on their walk through life. ii. Because of their blindness, they don't even know what they are stumbling over. a. Therefore, they don't know what to avoid because they don't have the light of scripture and wisdom to illuminate the stumbling blocks. b. Instead of the word of God being a lamp to their feet, they rather stumble at the word because they don't understand it (1Pe 2:8; Isa 28:13). c. Thus they end up falling into sin, false religion, and foolish decisions. 20. Pro 4:20 - "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings." A. My son, attend to my words; i. Solomon repeats his exhortation to his son to attend to his words (Pro 4:1). ii. This would not be the last time Solomon would repeat this exhortation (Pro 5:1; Pro 7:24). iii. Attend v. - I. To direct the ears, mind, energies to anything. 1. To turn one's ear to, listen to. iv. If we are to learn the wisdom of God, we have to focus on doing so by directing our ears, mind, and energy to it. v. The fact that Solomon exhorted his son to attend to his words four times in the book of Proverbs shows how important it is to do so. B. incline thine ear unto my sayings. i. Solomon had also previously exhorted his son to incline his ear unto wisdom (Pro 2:2) and to hear his sayings (Pro 4:10). ii. Incline v. - 1. Bend or bow (the head, the body, oneself) towards a person or thing, and hence forward or downward; b. To bend or turn one's ear(s) towards a speaker, to give ear, listen favourably, attend (to). iii. To incline one's ear to wisdom is to pay close attention to what is being taught and to focus the mind on learning it. iv. Not inclining our ears to the wisdom of the word of God will have disastrous results that will plague us with regret later in life (Pro 5:13).
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