Proverbs 12:28

The Way of the Righteous

28 In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
The Way of the Righteous Preserves Life

WAY: pathway; road; course of life; way of living.

1. Prov. 2:8 – God preserves their path.

a. God gives wisdom to the righteous (vs. 6-7)

b. And as they apply that wisdom to their way… God preserves them!

c. Preserves: keep; guard; watch; observe; restrain; protect.

d. The way of the righteous is the way of applied wisdom—and that way is protected by God.

e. That is a safe way to travel through life… and one that preserves one’s life!

2. Prov.13:6 – Righteousness KEEPS him who walks in an upright way

a. The man who is … who practices righteousness in his life will find that that practice KEEPS him!

b. Keeps: guard; watch; watch over; keep.

c. It is the practice of righteousness that guards our life…

d. Certain practices are dangerous (drinking; taking drugs; reckless speeding in a car; etc.)

e. Other practices preserve life… and keeps a man safe (careful about what he eats; how he drives; what activities he involves himself in)

f. Practicing righteousness is taking care of oneself.

3. Prov. 9:11 – God’s wisdom adds years to our life…

a. Wisdom is speaking.

b. By ME (God’s wisdom—the Word) years are added to our lives.

c. By rejecting God’s Wisdom—years are subtracted from our lives.
• The teens who brush off their parents’ words of wisdom are a perfect example…
• They are told to drive carefully—but proceed to speed down the highway—to their death!
• Older believers who are warned about smoking—disregard the words of wisdom, and end up with lung cancer. Years are taken off their lives.

d. But to those who listen to God’s wisdom—and incorporate it into their daily practice discover that they don’t have to worry about lung cancer; or hepatitis, cirrhoses of the liver, alcoholism, drug addiction, or aids; broken homes, etc…

e. Why no worries there? Because they practice righteousness… and righteousness preserves their lives.

f. Prov. 11:19 – the man who practices righteousness discovers that what Solomon says is true: righteousness tendeth to life…

The Way of the Righteous Encourages a Strong, Healthy Walk

1. Prov. 10:29 – the way of the Lord is STRENGTH.

a. Strength – a stronghold; place or means of safety; protection; refuge.

b. II Sam. 22:33 – God is my strength… my fortress…

c. This verse pictures the safety of the believer who walks in the way of the Lord—or the way of righteousness as a walk INSIDE a stronghold; a fortress;

d. His walk is made STRONG by God…

e. In the way of the Lord STRENGTH is given to the upright… to the righteous.

f. When walking, strength is NEEDED… and God offers all the help and strength we need—AS we are determined to walk in the right way. God doesn’t offer His strength when we turn off course.

2. Prov. 4:11-12 – Lady Wisdom tells us HOW to walk and run SO THAT you won’t stumble.

a. Those who have a STRONG walk trip up less frequently than those who are weak.

b. Have you ever climbed a mountain? You are much more stable on your feet when walking over a rocky area than you are when your legs are tired—like rubber. You are much more likely to stumble when your legs are tired and weak.

c. God’s wisdom is our strength. And when we practice it, we won’t stumble.

d. That is a strong walk… one that keeps on walking without tripping up…

e. They shall walk and not be weary; run and not faint.

f. The way of righteousness is LIFE… a good, strong, healthy, spiritual life…

The Way of the Righteous Requires Instruction

1. Prov. 6:23 – reproofs of instruction are in the way of LIFE…

a. In our verse in ch.12, Solomon states that the way of the righteous is LIFE…

b. Here he states that along the way of life are found many reproofs…

c. Reproof = a rebuke or correction…

d. Instruction = discipline, chastening

e. The one who seeks to walk in the way of the righteous… the way of life… must be willing to accept correction along the way!

f. This implies that it is human nature to tend to swerve OFF course… and to wander away from the right pathway.

g. Hence, along the way, correction and instruction are often needed and should be heeded!

h. Cf. 10:17 – keeping instruction and remaining in the right way go hand in hand. The fool who refuses to listen to correction errs… wanders off course… out of the way of safety and life… on to a dangerous road.

i. 15:10 – note the connection between wandering off the way of righteousness… and death!

j. This is especially important for young people—who are in a position to make central and vital choices in life that will affect your spiritual life for good or bad for many, many years to come… (school; career; marriage; ministry; etc…)

k. Young people haven’t had the life experience yet to have wisdom required for such life transforming decisions. Hence, they are warned here to TAKE HEED to counsel, instruction, and correction!

2. Prov.3:6 – He shall direct thy paths (same word as way)

a. What is the way of righteousness? How are we to walk down that pathway?

b. By acknowledging GOD every step of the way… acknowledging Him as LORD… acknowledging His authority… acknowledging His Word… acknowledge Him as the One who enables us to walk… empowers us to walk…

c. Acknowledge—most often translated “know”. KNOW God! That’s how we are to walk through life.

d. The better we know Him, the more our steps will be directed by Him…

e. The more we know Him, the safer, surer, stronger, more stable and steadfast will be our walk down that pathway!

f. The way of righteousness is a life that has the knowledge of God at the forefront of our thinking all the way… all the time.

3. Ps. 25:4 – “shew me thy ways; teach me thy paths” = same term… we should PRAY along the way.

a. This is a prayer of the psalmist—asking God to SHOW him God’s ways… and asking to be TAUGHT His paths.

b. It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. We are to pray…

c. Show = cause to know; make known; reveal…

d. The psalmist wanted to know God and His ways… that is the way of the righteous.

e. We need God’s guidance in life more than we realize. Ask and ye shall receive!

f. These are the kinds of things we ought to pray for—not just our sore toes and aching backs!

g. Lord, teach me how to walk… teach me about the way of righteousness… teach me about the way of life…

h. Ps. 27:11 – lead me in the way—in the plain (level ground)—because of the enemies.
• There are enemies at every corner!
• Walking in the way is dangerous—ask for God’s leading.
• Ask God to lead you in a “plain” (level; straight) way… so that we can avoid the pitfalls and potholes of life. If we don’t ask—and if we are not walking in dependence upon Him… we will find those potholes… when we could have been directed to a plain way!

The Way of the Righteous Requires Heart Preparation

1. Prov. 23:19 – guide your heart along the way…

a. The way of righteousness is life.

b. As we journey down that way… that road… that pathway,

c. Guide: go straight on; make progress…

2. Prov. 4:18 – the path of the just = a shining way!

a. The path of the just is virtually the same expression as the way of righteousness.

b. In this text, Solomon likens the path of the godly man to the rising of the sun… a glorious sunrise!
• It begins as the shining light—the first ray of light over the horizon that dispels the darkness of the night.
• Then the sun shines more and more—brighter and brighter until the perfect day … until the day is complete…
• Perfect = firm; fixed; established; ready
• The perfect day speaks of a day that has been fully established… no more dawning but brilliant daylight!
• We are to be increasing in the knowledge of Christ—filled with the fullness of God…reaching forth unto those things which are before… pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus…
• II Pet. 1:19 – Peter uses the same illustration as Solomon used—only Peter uses the illustration of a rising sun to describe the increasing light that comes from God’s Word… as we lay hold of it.
• In the straight and narrow pathway of light, light increases day by day
• The new believer walks in the light… and his eyes are opened to the spiritual realm!
• As that believer continues down the path of the just, the light becomes brighter and brighter.
• Thus, as he looks at himself, the light illuminates more and more dirt and dust that was previously not noticed… but now, with increasing light, comes increasing responsibility… and in turn, increasing holiness!

c. As we walk down the way of righteousness… we should be growing and increasing in righteousness…
• This requires heart preparation DAILY… in the Word of God.
• This requires guiding our heart along the way… in the way… making progress spiritually…

3. Ps. 119:9 – Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

a. The way is cleansed by taking heed to the Word…

b. Ps. 119:101 – I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
• Self restraint is required to remain in the way of righteousness

4. Ps. 119:104 – hate every false way…

a. Part of preparing the heart is learning to LOVE righteousness… and learning to HATE iniquity.

b. That is part of godliness… righteousness… the way of righteousness

c. It is a matter of training the heart.

d. Hate it enough to forsake it!
* Prov. 9:6 – the foolish are in the way of death… forsake it and live!

5. Ps. 119:15 – I will have respect unto thy ways…

a. Hating the false way is proper… but loving and respecting the right way is part of heart preparation needed for our journey on the “right road”…

b. Respect = show regard to, pay attention to, consider…

c. Do we show the proper regard… respect for remaining on the righteous road?

6. There is not only life at the end of the road of righteousness, but there is life all along the way—a good life; abundant life;

a. There is no death on this pathway… not on the straight and narrow road…

b. There is nothing but life… good life… a life worth living…

c. There is no death in this way… none of the ways or sorrows of the world that end in death and diminish our joy in the Lord along the way.