The Two Paths
The Two Paths is a basic Bible study in Proverbs 4:14-19 I had with my son as I remember it. This is only a suggestive model. I have bee very explicit for those who want to understand how to do things. Write to me if you have questions or suggestions.
As we started, my son said, "Ah, no. Not today." I started to get discouraged until I remembered two things.
- After each study, we both know that it has been a very special time. Even after our closing prayer and it is 'officially over,' he sits on my lap and we keep talking. The weather is nice, the other kids are playing, but he stays on my lap talking about life with lots of interesting questions.
- For some reason I linked his comment to the difficulty of going to prayer meetings and evangelism. Then it dawned on me. Have you ever noticed it is not easy to go to a prayer meeting? I am always glad that I have attended, but before I go it is hard to actually get there. A sense of confusion and forgetfulness is stirred up (by the evil one no doubt) to such a degree that I forget the positive benefits from prayer.
I believe the Lord had me remember this to show me that discipling others is spiritual warfare - even with my son. I did pray earlier for our time that day, but perhaps I was a bit naive in thinking he would not be hindered. I now know that our times together become good training in overcoming this 'spiritual inertia' that we all face.
We went over the first three sessions. We very quickly mentioned the key words for each of the prior sections.
1-4: Hear,understanding, fathers, sons
5-8: Acquire wisdom, get understanding, Don't forget
9-13: Hear, son, wisdom, accept, don't let go
I had him start praying. He protested that he needed help, but I reminded how well he did last time. He then said a good short prayer. I followed.
4) Reading the text
He is getting used to the routine. He just automatically started reading the text, Proverbs 4:10-17. Later we extended the study to 4:19 for two reasons. 1) We covered the material quickly and 2) the path of the righteous was presented in verse 18 as the preferred choice of life. Since it was presented in this way, we should study it that way.
Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:14-19, NASB)..
5) Verses 14-15
I asked him what are the commands listed in verses 14-15. We worked on discovering them together. He was more busy spotting theme; I was busy writing them down. We found four of them.
- #1: Do not enter the path of the wicked,
- #2: Do not proceed in the way of evil men.
We initially just looked at the first two commands in verse 14.
We found the comparisons between these two commands. He caught on real quick.
- I told him that the psalmist did this because it is easier to remember, and it is a point needing emphasis. At this point I drew two paths. My son promptly added the special features to my simply diagram the end results: hell fire and heaven.
- #3: Avoid it, do not pass by it;
- #4: Turn away from it and pass on
We did not talk much aside from the diagram. We did speak on the fact that if one see wicked deeds being done by your friends, then it shows they are wicked. We are to avoid that path way.
I decided with his agreement that we do verses 18 and 19 too because it is all one section.
6) Path of righteous (18)
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. (Proverbs 4:18, NASB).
I had to explain this verse a couple of times. He caught on to the main meaning of the deeds of the righteous being bright like light right away but was vague on some terms. I explained the concept of dawn to him and how the light got brighter and brighter. He kept wanting to say the end of the day. I told him that it only got lighter until high noon then it would start getting darker. This speaks only of the getting brighter part.
7) Path of wicked (19)
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:19, NASB).
Again I shared that see the pathway of the wicked. It is pictured as darkness and stumbling.
We closed by speaking about violence. On of the neighbors up the street has been bullying others around. We spoke about this. He told me how that boy took revenge when some girls didn't give him a turn on the public trampoline. The wicked just have to keep doing evil. They can't sleep without doing it.
8) We both closed in prayer.
9) Other important matters
On my lap he discussed how he and his sister saved two chipmunks from Neil the cat. He also mentioned how some child neighbor tried to assert that the cat was theirs, but my son corrected him by saying this and that fact.
Biblical Foundations for Freedom