Explaining Proverbs 4:18
“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18).
This verse is often used for birthday salutations and felicitations a lot… and it has been notoriously abused even with good intentions.
It is a major prayer/confession point among believers today.
Sometimes we use bible quotations without looking at the contextual orientation and application.
First and foremost, that verse is not a prayer point; it is a STATEMENT OF FACT. The writer is stating the obvious.
We don’t use what is stated as a reality as prayer point.
Second, if you pay attention, the writer was showing a clear difference between the path (way) of the just and the way of the wicked.
The path of the just is the path of everyone who believes in Christ while the way of the wicked is the way of an unbeliever. This passage is actually similar to Psalm 1. The way of the righteous vs the way of the ungodly.
In Proverbs 4, he calls that path “the way of wisdom” in vs 11
We know Christ has been made unto us the wisdom of God
‘’But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption’’ (1Cor. 1:30)
The path of the just is not an individual path. The path is Christ which is the wisdom of God
Now, he went further to say that that path is AS (LIKE) a shining light (the light of the dawn or early morning sunrise) which becomes brighter until the full day.
Pay attention here; he didn’t say the PATH IS SHINNING BRIGHTER AND BRIGHTER. Rather He stated it is LIKE; this is a simile (figure of speech used for comparison)
So, what he is saying in essence is that we are in a path which he also calls FULL DAY (PERFECT DAY)
It Is Not a Progression but a Position
We are not shining brighter and brighter until perfect day
No! In Christ Jesus we have arrived at the PERFECT DAY!
That’s why the next verse says the wicked stumbles in darkness. This is the experience of those who do not believe in Christ
The opposite of full day (perfect day) is darkness.
Christ is our arriving point! He is our perfect day!
Don’t forget, this golden rule in bible interpretation, Old Testament texts must be explained in the light of the New Testament.
You got this?
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