Since good understanding wins favor, what does it mean to have good understanding and good sense? Ask anyone passing by and a different answer will be received. The Lord told Israel when he gave them the laws of the Mount Sinai covenant, “Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’” (Deuteronomy 4:6)
So the Lord gives good understanding and good sense. David told Solomon (the author of this proverb), “May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel.” (1 Chronicle 22:12-13; Psalm 119:104) Understanding and sense are only good when I apply the Lord’s words in my daily actions. James, the brother of Jesus wrote, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13)
The way of unfaithful and treacherous people is hard and rough. They do not win the favor of God or people because they refuse to follow the Spirit of God and the word of the Son of God. They follow the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. (Jeremiah 7:24; Ephesians 2:1-4; 2 Peter 2:10) They “follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” (Jude 18). Following natural instincts is a hard life compared to following God’s Spirit.