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Blog - Proverbs 2:8

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Proverbs 2:8

"He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints." (Pro 2:8)


He keepeth the paths of judgment. Given the context of God being a buckler (a means of defense; a protector) (Pro 2:7) who preserves the way of His saints (Pro 2:8), to keep is accordingly defined as "to guard, defend, protect, preserve, save" (OED). Thus, the LORD guards, defends, and protects the paths of judgment. In that the paths that the LORD keeps are paths of judgment, it is apparent that these are figurative paths which are "course[s] of action or procedure, line[s] of conduct, way[s] of behaviour" (OED).

There are many such metaphorical paths on which a Christian should walk, such as "the path of life" (Psa 16:11), "the path of the just" (Pro 4:18), "the paths of righteousness" (Psa 23:3), and "the paths of uprightness" (Pro 2:13), all of which are "right paths" (Pro 4:11), being "the paths of the LORD" (Psa 25:10). Seeing that "narrow is the way which leadeth unto life" (Mat 7:14), every Christian ought to pray to God to "shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths" (Psa 25:4), and "make me to go in the path of thy commandments" (Psa 119:35).

There are also other "froward . . . paths" (Pro 2:15) which a follower of Christ must definitely avoid such as "the path of the wicked" (Pro 4:14) and the paths of strange women which "inclineth . . . unto the dead" (Pro 2:18). As Solomon warned his son in the first chapter of Proverbs, "my son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path" (Pro 1:15).

The paths of judgment. Judgment is primarily defined as "the action of trying a cause in a court of justice; trial" (OED). In the context of wisdom (Pro 2:6,7,10), understanding (Pro 2:6,11), and discretion (Pro 2:11), judgment refers to "the faculty of judging; ability to form an opinion; that function of the mind whereby it arrives at a notion of anything; the critical faculty; discernment; good or sound judgement; discernment, discretion, wisdom, understanding, good sense" (OED). Therefore, the path of judgment is a course of action and conduct that is characterized by using the faculties of wisdom and discernment to make sound decisions to arrive at correct opinions while navigating oneself through life. Because man's judgment is often lacking and feeble, the Almighty protects and guards his path, "lead[ing] [him]. . . in the midst of the paths of judgment" (Pro 8:20), keeping him from deviating too far either to the left or the right so that he "enter[s] not into the path of the wicked, and go[es] not in the way of evil men" (Pro 4:14).

And preserveth the way of His saints. A saint is "a holy person; one of God's chosen people; in the New Testament, one of the elect under the New Covenant; a member of the Christian church; a Christian" (OED). The dictionary's definition is in accord with the scripture which also defines a saint as one of God's faithful elect who is a member of a Christian church (Rom 1:6-7 c/w Rom 8:28-30; 1Co 1:2), and not some dead man that idolatrous fools pray to in disobedience to God.

To preserve is to "keep safe from harm or injury; to keep in safety, save, take care of, guard" (OED). The LORD takes care of His saints, both eternally and temporally, keeping them safe from harm or injury. Jesus "g[a]ve unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of [his] hand" (Joh 10:28).

Psa 37:28 - For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psa 31:23 - O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

Psa 97:10 - Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

Psa 145:20 - The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

1Th 5:23 - And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Ti 4:18 - And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Jud 1:1 - Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

Not only does the LORD preserve His saints, but He also preserves their way, both directly by divine intervention, and indirectly by teaching them wisdom from the scriptures which enables them to make wise decisions that keep them from evil and its consequences.

Psa 121:8 - The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Pro 16:17 - The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

Pro 4:5-6 - Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.


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For the previous blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 2:7.
For the next blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 2:9.

For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary.