“More than all else you guard,
watch your heart, for out of it,
come the surges of life.”
— Proverbs 4:23 (paraphrase)
This nitty gritty of Wisdom’s gospel—the very heart of the matter, where our need of God gains traction for life—is founded in the human heart. The heart is the seat of the intentions and the source of all our motives.
The heart can be morally or virtuously strong or weak, but we’re only either one or the other primarily via how much wisdom we tip in and draw upon, by seeking God. Wisdom is therefore seen as a moral imperative and certainly much less than the ‘knowledgeable intelligence’ that the world thinks it is.
Life – Real Life
Paraphrasing the intent of The Message’s take on verse 22 we find that those who really set their hearts on Wisdom, seeking her with all their mind, soul, spirit and strength, will be blessed by the incremental acquisition of the priceless gift of God. They will really live.
They will bring meaning to verse 23 in the living of their lives, understanding that the heart is incredibly corruptible, no matter how far we progress in the faith. Oh how we can never escape this fear of the Lord as the way forward; to live! This is the reminder of the nature of life; that we must continually walk affirmatively in the Light to ward against the encroaching darkness. We go one way or the other—toward Light or darkness. There’s no mid-ground.
The straight path of God is healing.
Staying Straight on That Ancient Path
Jeremiah 6:16 talks about the ancient path of God—which is likewise the way of Wisdom—as being ultimately the rest for our souls we need; the rest our souls were always designed to pine after and therefore receive.
And wrangling with peace is the lot for each of us, lest there be one trillion ways of attempting same. It’s a pity that there are minuscule ways to follow the Lord in amongst the countless counterfeits; those promising much blessing that get us instead to Sheol.
As verse 27 implores, if we wish to live Wisdom’s way we daren’t shift to the right or to the left of this ancient groove of God—the righteous, just and fair way. The ancient path is a narrow way; one that’s too easy to miss (Matthew 7:13-14). Yet, it won’t be missed if we’re morally adroit in Wisdom.
When we focus on the Wisdom of God, ruminating over God’s Word for meaning, edification, reflection, and purpose for the ongoing living of life, we venture on the God-heart-path. We are blessed to stay on that Path.
© 2010, 2012 S. J. Wickham.