My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble.
King Solomon, like the Lord, is lovingly pleading with his child to trust his wise counsel. If he does – a long, good life awaits. If he doesn’t? His walk will be held back and when he runs…he will stumble. If you are a parent, this probably sounds pretty familiar, but like the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” So it is with our children…and so it is with us.
Regarding this teaching, the British theologian Adam Clarke said, “Vice and intemperance impair the health and shorten the days of the wicked; while true religion, sobriety, and temperance, prolong them. The principal part of our diseases springs from ‘indolence, intemperance, and disorderly passions.’ Religion excites to industry, promotes sober habits, and destroys evil passions, and harmonizes the soul; and thus, by preventing many diseases, necessarily prolongs life.”
Does this mean that every Christian who fights the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12) will live longer and have a better life? Not necessarily…but God does make it pretty clear that is certainly will increase the likelihood of it. Additionally, God tells us that when we walk in wisdom, we won’t be hindered by our own foolishness…and when we run the race well, we won’t stumble along the way.
Of course God wants you to go to Heaven, but He also wants you to enjoy the ride and experience successful living along the way. That’s why He wants you to live what you learn.