Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD. Proverbs 16:20 NIV
One Christmas, my wife acquired an unassembled kitchen island with a butcher block top. We had the picture of the finished product, but no instructions. There were over 200 pieces counting the screws and wooden dowels. My son, Micah, and I had the parts laid out all over the living room while putting it all together. We accomplished the task, but it would have been a lot easier if we had the instructions.
The Hebrew wording has some very interesting nuances in our verse today that can help focus us to paths of righteousness.
Whoever gives heed (maś·kîl) means to be circumspect or study a matter carefully. This is the same Hebrew word used for looking at the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil in Genesis 3:6. Eve saw that the fruit was desirable “to make one wise”. The idea is the making of a decision at the end of research. You purchase an item because you believe it has the best value.
To instruction (dabar). Some translators opt for using the term “word”. In Genesis 15:1 we read the phrase and “the word (dabar)” of the Lord came to Abram. Some think that King Solomon may have been thinking about the Word of God found in the Law of God.
Prospers (tawb) means good in the fullest sense of the word. Interestingly, this is also the same word used in Genesis 3:6 to describe the fruit as “good to eat”.
Let’s rephrase the first part of the verse using the insights we have gained. “Spend your time studying what God is saying, when you align your actions and words to what God is saying, you will find good success“. Greg’s helpful translation.
To make sure we are in the right ballpark of understanding, King Solomon makes it plain. When your life and actions are based in the bold faith and trust in God, you are blessed.
A minister friend, T.D. Hall, used to say, “If you want to see revival, just do the next thing that God tells you to do.” He also said, “If you are not sure what to do now, go back to the last thing that God said to do, and start living that out.” Notice that both statements revolved around discerning the words that God has spoken and obedience to those instructions.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice and follow Me”. Do you know the voice of Jesus that leads to you following what He is saying? Are you obeying the words of the Spirit leading to life? Can you share with someone how you are being obedient to follow His words to you?
There is a blessing for those who are willing to research what God is saying and make the action adjustments (life of faith) to what God is expecting you to do in response to His words.
May you be blessed in heeding structions.
Blessings Love y’all