Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right…
The lesson may be summed up in few words, but it is so comprehensive that the acceptance or rejection of it makes all the difference between supreme wisdom and supreme folly. The lesson simply is that "the ways of the Lord are right." Men prefer their own ways to God's, but what the history of Israel teaches is that, if they do so, it is to their own ruin.
I. GOD'S WAYS ARE RIGHT. They are:
1. Bight in themselves. They are the ways of absolute rectitude. They are marked out for us by perfect wisdom, spotless holiness, and unchanging goodness. Equally right are God's own ways, the principles of his government, the modes of his action. His commands are just, his requirements reasonable, his doings wise, his intentions kind.
2. Bight as conducting to a right end. God desires the good of every one. He has no pleasure in the death of any. He sets before us the way of life. "See," he says, "I have set before you life and death" (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19). God knows better than any other wherein our true good lies. Taking the way he prescribes, we shall infallibly attain to blessedness.
II. WISDOM IS TESTED BY THE ACCEPTANCE OR REFUSAL OF GOD'S WAYS. "Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them?"
1. The wise recognize the rightness of God's ways. They are taught of God to recognize this rightness. Plain as the truth seems that God's ways alone are right, the natural heart is incapable of receiving it (1 Corinthians 2:14).
2. The wise show their wisdom by walking in God's ways. "The just shall walk in them." Wisdom is a practical thing. It implies the adoption of that which we know to be right. Wisdom is connected with uprightness. It is the upright in heart - the just - who choose the right ways.
3. The unwise show their folly by rejecting God's ways. This is their ruin. "The transgressors shall fall therein." - J.O.
Parallel VersesKJV: Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.