That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
There are only two kinds of men – good men and bad men. These two groups live very differently: their lifestyles and principles are opposed to each other. Noble parents love their children, so they teach them wisdom to choose the way and paths of righteous men.
Good and righteous men live godly lives of virtue and integrity. Bad and wicked men live foolish lives of vanity and deceit. Only wise men see this difference between men; only wise men understand the choices that lead to the noble and successful lives of good men.
This chapter has two purposes – to teach you how to get wisdom and understanding (Pr 2:1-9) and the great reward of getting them (Pr 2:10-22). When a man obtains wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding (Pr 2:10-11), he will be saved from dangerous men and women, who walk in the ways and paths of wickedness (Pr 2:12-19). It is from this evil lifestyle of worldly men and women that King Solomon sought to save his son.
He first explained the negative reason for getting wisdom – to be saved from the destructive choices and habits of the wicked (Pr 2:12-19). He then began at this proverb to explain the positive reason for getting wisdom – to follow the choices and habits of great men (Pr 2:20). God’s protection and prosperity are only upon them (Pr 2:21-22).
The definition of good and bad is not by culture, interpretation, or preference. The glorious Creator settled such simple things in the Bible. It plainly defines what is good and acceptable, and what is bad and despicable. There is no neutral lifestyle. You are living either a good or bad life, and you will either be rewarded or punished for it.
The Bible not only defines good and bad; it also gives examples of good and bad men. It compares wise men and fools, virtuous women and odious women, saints and sinners. The contrast is clearly seen between Abel and Cain, Abraham and Lot, David and Saul, Abigail and Michal, Peter and Judas, Paul and Demas. You should know these well.
Good men sin, but they do not wallow in their sin. They may fall seven times, but they will get up; the wicked fall and stay there (Pr 24:16). David and Peter sinned terribly, but they repented and showed an overall character far exceeding other men. Saul and Judas sinned grievously, and kept right on sinning. Their path was final and total destruction.
This proverb gives you a choice (Matt 7:13-14). Will you choose the popular way to live, the road to destruction? The vast majority of men live that way, and it is easy, because you can do whatever you like. The other option is the strait and narrow way that leads to life. Only a few live that way, and it is hard, because it is the life of self-denial for God, Jesus Christ, and heaven. One thing is sure – you make a choice today and every day.
Wisdom is the key opening the door to the way of good men and the path of righteous men. It is offered freely in the Scriptures, and especially in this book of Proverbs. If it enters your heart and is pleasant to your soul, you will be able to see and follow the lives of the great men and women before you, Jesus Christ being the greatest example of all.
What will you do? Will you trust the world to tell you how you ought to live? Or will you trust the Bible, which tells you to live the opposite of the way the world lives? Hollywood is not only contrary to the Bible in everything it believes and does, but the dysfunctional lives of its producers, stars, and victims prove it to be false and dangerous. May God bless you with conviction and zeal today to choose to live His way.