As we did yesterday, we’re looking at little more closely at the 4 main benefits Solomon emphasized his son could expect from following the steps outlined in vss. 1-4:
1 (5-8) “Then you will understand the Fear of The Lord”.
2. (9-15) “Then you will understand righteousness, and justice and equity, and every good work.”
3. (16-19) “So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman” (i.e. temptation).
4. (20) “So you will walk in righteousness.”
The 2nd benefit of following his 7 steps in searching out God’s Word is he would “understand righteousness, and justice and equity, and every good work.” In this portion are Gospel centered realities that Solomon puts in front of his son, long before the Gospel as we know it had been fleshed out the way it is in the New Testament.
First then he mentions understanding “Righteousness”. What do we need to know about righteousness? A lot! What righteousness is from God’s viewpoint for one. We think of righteousness on the sliding scale of human imperfection. God sees righteousness on the scale of His own, eternal, absolute perfection. So we and Solomon’s son together need to understand that the righteousness which God demands of us is not the weak, sin-riddled righteousness which passes muster compared to other broken people – but righteousness compared to infinite holiness. And if that is God’s standard, then the second thing we NEED to know about righteousness is HOW TO GET THAT KIND OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Only the Word of God will tell us, it must come from the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us. In other words, when we search out God’s Word, we understand our real need as God knows it, and we come to understand His remedy for our need in Christ Jesus. This can be found nowhere else in all of human religion – but in God’s Word alone. Only in the Bible will we find this unpacked: Philippians 3:8–9 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— “
Second, Solomon says we can come to know “justice.” And we need to understand what justice really is, if we would understand what the Gospel really is. If God’s nature does not require justice in regard to our sin – then the cross is meaningless. Only when I know it would be justice for God to punish me eternally for my sin, can I understand both the need for and the wonder of the substitutionary atonement of Christ at Calvary.
See: Romans 3:21–26 and Romans 4:1-8. Christ died because righteousness demands sin be dealt with, and in the Cross, sin is punished to the full, so that those who trust in Christ’s substitution can go free – without violating God’s justice.
Third, God’s Word opens up “equity” to us – the true nature of fairness, and why grace is not contrary to it. Matthew 20:1-16 contains Jesus’ parable concerning the Kingdom where he talks about a man who contracts with some to work for him early in the day for a fair wage, then 3 subsequent times throughout the day. At the end, all are paid the same. When that is objected to we hear this stunning pronouncement regarding the Landowner’s freedom to give those who worked less the same wage, as what those who worked the whole day had agreed to: Matthew 20:13–15 “He replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?” Only in God’s Word will come to understand equity on God’s terms.
Last, we will understand “Every good path” – how to live out righteousness, justice & equity in every day life. So we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
What an amazing provision God makes for us in His Word. All of which is ours – when we apply ourselves to gain it. Every aspect of which will apply to every area of life.