“Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you,” (Proverbs 2:9–11, ESV)
When we use the Bible as the filter for our thoughts and ideas, we will experience blessings. These are the blessing that believers will experience who passionately pursue God’s truth.
Connection with the knowledge of God (v5) – The writer of Proverbs tells us that the one who seeks for wisdom and understanding like a pursuit for silver and gold will gain true riches. “if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:4–5, ESV) it is the person who has a genuine reverence for God will have a love for His word and gain the knowledge of God. This is something more valuable than anything this world can offer.
Understanding that keeps people on the right path (v9-10) – “Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path.” First, we see that understanding keeps a person on the correct path in life. The word translated in the passage as path, refers to an entrenchment or a track (Strong H4570). This is a prepared way. The Lord has a prepared way for us to travel. It is the path of righteousness. He endows us with an intellectual capacity to understand the way. Yet, as discussed in Chapter 1 of the previous section, we cannot understand the way apart from the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord started every believer on this path when he or she expressed true saving faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Moreover, He has provided everything we need to stay on this path.
Discretion that watches over us (v11a) – “discretion will watch over you,” (Proverbs 2:11, ESV) Discretion refers to exercise caution in purpose and direction and “watch” means to guard (Strong H8104). It will keep one within the bounds. The Scriptures establish boundaries for us to stay within as we journey in life. Moreover, these boundaries actually make our lives more joyful.
Studies have shown interesting behavior of kids during school recess. Observers indicated that in playgrounds without a fence around, children tend to huddle together in the center, not playing out towards the perimeter. However, in playgrounds with a perimeter fence, children will take full advantage of the entire area. The reason is that they have a better sense of security. Thus, they experience peace and joy because there are boundaries. The Scriptures set good boundaries for our safety that will give us peace, joy, and blessing.
Understanding that will guard us (11b) – “understanding will guard you.” The Lord also endows us with understanding that will guard us while we walk on the path. This works to keep us from straying to the point of no return. Straying from the path of righteousness can be painful. Most believers, when they stray, identify their wayward path, confess it and repent from it. They try very hard to get back on the right path. Yet, there is a danger. Some may stay on the wrong path and head in a direction that will end up at a point of no return. The word of God guards us from doing this like a military sentry at a guard post. Thus, the Bible has this super ability to protect us from the traps of the world. While in military training at the Army Ranger School, we spent some time practicing patrol techniques in Fort Benning Georgia. On one of the exercises, we had a choice to take the trail or the brush. In the area where we patrolled, you could take the longer trail on top of the ridge or go the more direct route through the valleys. The patrol leader assigned for that exercise decided to take the direct route. The direct route was full of what we called “wait-a-minute-vines.” Yes, they were thick briars. We were hug up in them beating our way through. Let me say, it was not fun at all. It is that way in life. We have various paths to take. Some are full of hazards and others are safe, full of blessing.