My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with you.
Here we have -
I. THE WAY OF SIN AND DEATH. This is:
1. The way of thoughtlessness. It is the "simple ones," the "young men void of understanding" (ver. 7), those who go heedlessly "near the corner," "the way to the house" of the tempter or the temptress (ver. 8). It is those who "do not consider," who do not think who they are, what they are here for, whither they go, what the end will be; - it is these who go astray and are found in the way of death.
2. The way of darkness. (Ver. 9.) Sin hates the light; it loves the darkness. It cannot endure the penetrating glance, the reproachful look, of the good and wise man. It prefers to be where it can better imagine that it is unseen of God.
3. The way of shame. (Vers. 10-20.) The result of habitual sin is to rob woman of her native purity, to make her impudent and immodest. How sad, beyond almost everything, the effect of guilt that will put shameful thoughts into a woman's mind, shameless words into a woman's lips! If sin will do this what enormity of evil will it not work?
4. The way of falsehood, of pretence, of imposture. (Vers. 14, 15.)
5. The way of weakness and defeat. (Vers. 21, 22.) A man, under the power of sin, yields himself up; he is vanquished, he surrenders his manliness, he has to own to himself that he is miserably beaten. The strong man is slain by sin, the wounded is cast down (ver. 26). He who has gained victories on other fields, and won trophies in other ways, is utterly defeated, is token captive, is humiliated by sin.
6. The way of death and damnation. (Ver. 27.)
II. THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LIFE. (Vers. 1-5.) This is:
1. The way of attention. The will of God must first be heeded and understood.
2. The way of holy love. We must take Divine wisdom to our heart, and love it as that which is near and dear to us (ver. 4).
3. The way of wise culture. (Vers. 1-3.) We are to take the greatest pains to keep God's thought in our remembrance, before the eyes of our soul. We are to take every needful measure to keep it intact, whole, flawless in our heart. We are to find it a home in the inmost chamber, in the sacred places of our spirit. Then will this path of righteousness prove to us to be:
4. The path of life. Keeping his commandments, we shall "live" (ver. 2). We shall live the life of virtue, escaping the snares and wiles of the vicious (ver. 5). We shall live the life of piety and integrity, beloved of God, honoured of man, having a good conscience, cherishing a good hope through grace of eternal life. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.