#GrowWise. The Singular Truth Underlying All Wisdom

January 5, 2015

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Proverbs 5:21 (read the whole chapter)

For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.


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I have magnified the text above for a purpose. I started to focus all the energy on the larger subject of today’s text: adultery. Then it hit me there was a much larger subject here than adultery. Tucked in between v. 20 and v.22 are sixteen small words one can easily fly by without significant attention.

These sixteen words may be the most power packed words in all thirty one chapters. I’ll go out on a limb here and call it– these sixteen words may be the most power packed words in all of Scripture. I’ll repeat them for effect:

For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.

I want you to write these sixteen words down on a piece of paper; preferably in a permanent kind of place. I have a little book I keep with me at all times in my back pocket. We make them at Seedbed. On the cover are printed the words, “Seed Thoughts.” On most days I try and write a verse of Scripture in it (among other things). These are the words (aka “Seed Thoughts) I want to continually sow in my mind and heart; words I want to live by.

Ok, back to the text. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a “Gotcha” text. The God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, is not a gotcha God. What if we read this text not as an ominous warning or as bad news but as good news. Someone watching over us can help us and encourage us and pick us up when we fall and carry us when we can’t go any further and be there for us and I could go on. God doesn’t watch over us in order to smite us but so he can support us. Yes, he watches over us so he can instruct us and warn us and correct us and guide us in right paths and train us in right ways and discipline us to make us better and all the other things someone who really loves and cares for a person does.

In today’s text, we get this particular verse in the midst of a major warning about adultery. Is this the case because God wants to punish people who commit adultery? No. It’s there because God wants us to understand that next to murder, adultery is the most dangerous, destructive, and devastating thing a person can do. This is a “Danger Will Robinson!” moment. To be wise is to recognize the close presence of the Lord and to live life in a way that honors

For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths.

The only way this is bad news is if God is a bad god. The good news is our God is better than we can imagine. If you want to know what our God is like just look at Jesus. I definitely want Jesus with me, watching over and out for me, warning me, correcting me, encouraging me, strengthening me.  It brings us back to the miracle of Christmas! Emmanuel! God is with us!

To grow wise means to increasingly live life in the awareness and attentiveness to this fact: Our ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all of our paths. Thank God.

I’ll see you tomorrow in Proverbs 6.


J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

7 Responses

  1. Thank you for reminding me of one of my many watershed moments that came with engaging the Heidelberg Catechism. My experience has been we talk about God the Almighty and then we talk about God the Father; usually the almighty part was in the context of God’s “big” capabilities, especially when it came to creating or destroying. I was stunned when the Heidelberg linked the two traits together as being beneficial for me as an individual:

    “…I trust God so much that I do not doubt he will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends upon me in this sad world. God is able to do this because he is almighty God and desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.”

    Later, it hit me that the opening line of the Apostles’ Creed is “I believe in God, the Father almighty”. It has made all the difference. I had never fully understood that it is a good thing to have God as the primary verb in my life.

    Bottom line, your teaching is filling a void that was created when the church lost sight of its primary mission: connecting individuals to the triune God of holy love who is most definitely way more verb than noun; the unfathomable God of mystery who is determined to love me even more than I could ever think about loving myself.

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