"Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil; from the man who speaks perverse things, from those who leave the paths of uprightness. To deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words."
This whole section is an amazing series of promises. Almost everything that anyone could want is promised as the outcome. What is amazing is the way of activating these wonderful results. In the first four verses, we are told that only the really seeking heart will ever activate the gift of God to receive these incredible benefits. The first part of this chapter in Proverbs is often skimmed over to spend time on the incredible list of benefits, but the key to attaining the wonder of wisdom is the seeking heart. You must really want it and must cry out for it; ready to receive it from the various sources that God sends it through.
discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course
This is a Hebraic way of talking about the key qualities in leadership. When the three ideas of righteousness, justice, and equity are combined, they form a triplet of godly leadership and authority. This is the way of saying great leadership God's way. We are tired of authoritarian leadership that has no equity or fairness. We have seen leadership that is not righteous but instead is selfish and wicked. It eventually destroys the leader and the followers. We have witnessed when leadership becomes overwhelmed with favoritism, factions, and a me-and-mine-first attitude.
God is promising to develop a new level of leadership if you will follow His plan. If you want to become a new-level leader, then you must cry out to God and listen for the subtleties of wisdom.
wisdom will enter your heart
The ability to know what is the triple-win decision: in which direction do God, others, and myself benefit the most long term. You must really seek to understand the subtleties of a process to come to wisdom. Often the really wise course is not the first one that you think of. Gold does not usually lie on the surface; it must be mined.
knowledge will be pleasant to your soul
These are skills and information that are required for a wise set of actions or decisions. Often before one can really embrace the wise course, there is a particular skill set or information that must be obtained. This proverb tells us that once it is obtained, it sits in the innermost part of your being and refreshes your soul. By the way, that makes it worth the work to obtain it.
discretion will guard you
This word discretion is the word for plan, plot, scheme. The course of wisdom develops a plan. Very rarely is wisdom a one-step plan. There are often many steps that must be coordinated and put in order. The plan and its various contingencies will guard you from mistakes, surprises, and temptations. Plan your work and work your plan. This takes time and desire to put the pieces of the plan together.
understanding will watch over you
Understanding is the Hebrew word bina. It means to understand, have insight, discern. It is the information that is more than just data collection. It is the connection between information and the interactions between groups, things, and forces. This is perceptive insight – the reading between the lines of raw information. This is a powerful ability to see what is hidden to perceive the reactions and hidden messages. This ability will truly guard you from making the obvious choice that would be disastrous. It is one of those: something is wrong and I am going to understand what it is... I can't put my finger on it... but I know it is not right.
to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things. To deliver you from the strange woman
This section of verses lists three particular villains who trip up the growing young man or woman in their pursuit to live a good life. The pathway of evil or wickedness. It is tempting and has shipwrecked many. Notice that one must be delivered from these people and pathways. One or all of them will be alluring. It does not say that you will not be tempted but rather if you follow the prescription, then you will be delivered from that which in your foolishness you would fall victim to.
Remember that the key to receiving all of these benefits is the first four verses – seeking wisdom and insight and God. In each decision you must cry out to God for the level of wisdom you need until the wise course glows like an airport runway at night. Good decisions and wise life courses will do this if enough effort and true heart cries are involved.