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Heed the Wisdom of the Father
Proverbs 4:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered:
The Hebrew verb walk: (הָלַךְ halak) used illustratively normally suggests a state of blamelessness, being declared righteous, being free of guilt. (Prov. 2:7) In the Bible, the expression “to walk” is illustrative and can mean to follow a certain course of action, as “Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:9; 5:22) Those who walk with God follow the life course outlined by God’s Word and will find his favor, that is, be pleasing to him. Pursuing such a life course makes you different from most unbelievers. The Greek New Testament uses the same illustrative expression, contrasting two different courses of action sought by one before and after becoming a servant of God. (Eph. 2:2, 10; 4:17; 5:2) The Hebrew verb (צָרַר tsarar) hampered in this context means that if you are following a life course, walking with God, your life paths of uprightness will not be impeded or hindered by obstacles (life problems and difficulties) that prevent you from going forward. This is not an absolute, it is a, generally speaking, situation, in that, to the degree that you heed wisdom, you will face far fewer hindrances than the unbeliever.
And if you run, you will not stumble: Similarly, the Hebrew run (רוּץ ruts) “running” is also used to symbolize a course of action. God tells us that the prophets in Judah “ran” (i.e., took the prophetic course) though he did not send them, that is, they prophesied falsely. (Jer. 23:21) Similarly, in the New Testament, “running” is also used to symbolize a course of action. (1 Pet. 4:4) Paul gives us a visual picture of the Christian course in terms of “running.” He compares it to a race that a person must run while also obeying the rules of the race if they are to win the prize. (1 Cor. 9:24; Gal. 2:2; 5:7) The Hebrew verb stumble (כָּשַׁל kashal) means to walk unsteadily. Figuratively, in this context, it refers to a weak, troubled, failing person. When you walk on the paths of uprightness under the direction of the wisdom of the Father, your steps will not be hampered. In other words, you will not be stumbled by the obstacles of your sinful nature, your human imperfection, and your human weaknesses, but you will have adequate room to walk. Even if you run, the paths of uprightness will be without the obstacles to the degree that you heed the wisdom of the Father, and there are no unforeseen occurrences, and you will not stumble if you stay the course.