Proverbs 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea every good path.
A path is described as a track or a way worn by footsteps; a trail; a walk or way to be used by people traveling on foot, such as along a street, in a park, or through a garden. It is also described as a course or manner of conduct. The latter description of a path is the one referred to in the lesson text. A path, in this sense, is the way we choose to conduct ourselves as we journey through life.
The lesson text says there are good paths. However, as a warning to us, there are also paths of evil where the manner of life is wicked. Of the evil path it is said, Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace (Isaiah 59:7-8). Solomon is warned not to follow the paths of the wicked. My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood (Proverbs 1:15-16). These passages, as well as others, show us that, as we journey through life, we will be faced with evil paths. These we need to avoid.
However, there are many good paths that we can choose to follow during our journey here on earth. Some good paths to follow are mentioned in the lesson text. Paths of righteousness, and judgment, and equity - these are good paths. Righteousness is the quality of a person that conducts themselves in a just and upright manner; a person with good morals doing what is right and virtuous. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus gives us an illustration of what the Day of Judgment will be like. He sums it up in verse 46 by saying, And these (the unrighteous) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. The righteous are also referred to in Jesus' explanation of the parable of the tares. The parable refers to the judgment, and was told to the disciples as recorded in Matthew 13:24-30. In verses 37-43 it is explained culminating with verse 43 which says, Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Righteousness is further described as the opposite of sinfulness. Whosoever abideth in Him (in God) sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. Little children, let no man decieve you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning (I John 3:6-8).
God wants us to travel down the path of righteousness. He wants us to be just in all our dealings with others. He wants us to be good moral people, always striving to do what is right and virtuous. How wonderful it will be when we reach the end of this path, and on the Day of Judgment meet our Savior, Jesus Christ. 1 John 2:28-29 tells us, And now little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear (on Judgment Day), we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him.
Judgment is another path God said is good. Good judgment begins with an honest self-judgment of ourselves. Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Matt. 7:1-2). Paul taught the Corinthians about good judgment. He told them, as well as us today, to use Godly wisdom instead of man's wisdom, in our judgment (See 1 Cor. 2:112-16). As we look at others, our judgment, to be acceptable to God, must abound in love. We cannot rightly judge others that we do not sincerely love. This is taught in Philippians 1:9-10. Good, righteous judgment is another good path to follow.
God also said that equity is another good path to follow. Equity is the quality of being just, fair, and impartial. Equity is having your integrity filled with justice. The path of equity will lead you to giving a good day's work for a day's pay. You will treat your employer honestly and justly. Likewise, if you are an employer, you will treat your employees honestly and justly. This holds true with the relationship husbands and wives, between neighbors, between students and teachers, between parents and children, between citizens and their government's representatives, even between nations. What a wonderful world it would be if people traveled on the good paths of righteousness, judgment and equity!