he who guards his way guards his life" (Proverbs 16:17).
Many biblical verses promising God's protection are favorites with Christians everywhere. We can find them placed on everything from clothing to jewelry and from letter-opener swords to digital screen savers.
But, wonderful as those verses are – and central to our faith in God's frequent protection for his people, according to his will – Proverbs 16:17 reminds us that there is another aspect to the matter of our protection: our own behavior.
In saying “the highway of the upright avoids evil,” we are reminded by the proverb that where we go in life, morally and spiritually, often determines what evil we may come in contact with. In saying “he who guards his way guards his life,” we are reminded that our protection may begin and end with God, but in between we are responsible for where we go in life and many of the dangers we may experience.
Another biblical proverb – Proverbs 22:3 – expounds that thought: “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” Our protection is not just a matter of our faith in God’s care wherever we may choose to go; it is also often a matter of how well we follow the “road map” of life we are given in God's word.
Proverbs 16:17 reminds us that although we can't always choose what we will meet on the road of life, the road we choose will often determine what we do encounter.