Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%204-6&version=NCV
I have used the NCV…but change to any version that might speak to you. You can use http://www.biblegateway.com to do this OR the app for the iPad and iPhone called YouVersion. They are both great resources…anything to make it easier for us to remain faithful even on the run.
Chapter 4 — The heading of this chapter is “wisdom is supreme. So many topics covered in this chapter — teaching children, laying hold of HIS Words with ALL our hearts, holding on to instruction and guarding it well, resisting laziness, and paying attention to/DOING what has been taught.”
My favorite verses were 23-27 — NOTICE how God begins these verses with ABOVE ALL ELSE, when HE says that it means perk your little ears up and LISTEN because it is REALLY important. Let’s take a look:
“ABOVE ALL ELSE, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.”
Chapter 5 — The title of the chapter is “Warnings against Adultery.” We are only in chapter 5 and this is at least the third lesson on adultery. This chapter has instruction for both literal and figurative instruction. First the literal point is don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of adultery/an affair…it will rob you of life, destroy relationships, and impact children. Impacts of an affair are FAR reaching such as a child could be born out of an affair or even diseases transmitted from previous unfaithful acts plus the guilt, shame, and emotional damage that can come from stepping outside of God’s ways. The enemy WANTS to destroy God’s ways ANY way he can….ANY where he can. Just because we go to church, are deacons, elders, part of the worship team, or pastors …. if we are not wise we can be pulled into the allure of an affair. And EVEN if NO one but YOU and the person you had the affair EVER knows….GOD sees and KNOWS ALL (verse 22.) So does God forgive us if we have an affair? ABSOLUTELY!! There is NO sin to big or too small for HIM to forgive. It is also important that we repent after we confess and believe that God graciously forgives us then we must TURN AWAY from not just this affair but from ALL steps that could further lead to others.
Did you also notice the mention of “drinking from your own cistern.” In other words…get all you need from your own home, your own spouse. God NEVER intended faithfulness in marriage to be boring in a marriage. Our marriages are to be full of life, pleasure, laughter, compassion, and yes….exciting and comforting sex, and so much more. If a marriage becomes boring sometimes it helps if both people talk about how they felt when they were dating, romancing each other, what was exciting, what was fun, relive those memories and see how you can create new ones. How long did it take you to get dressed, plan your clothing, (and if you are a woman — paint your nails, do your make up, etc….just for ONE date??) How long did you spend asking THEM questions and LISTENING to EVERY word that came out of their mouth with great excitement. How much time did you put in to thinking of little things you could do for the other person….little notes, a piece of candy, flowers, poems, songs, a surprise note in their lunch box or brief case, a surprise note on their car windshield saying “meet me at Starbucks.” Where did you go on your dates….on a walk.. to a concert…get coffee or ice cream…to the planetarium, a movie, the lake, the beach, the mountains?? It does not have to be expensive or a week long excursion….often it is the simple things of love that bring us back to the excitement, joy, compassion, trust, passion…..I know you get the picture.
Figuratively, this scripture discussed two women…. the first was the woman of wisdom and the second was the adulteress. This is a huge contract between these two women and the difference in the life we have depending on which one we choose. What is your sin? What is God calling you to let go of and come closer to HIM? GRAB the wisdom. ASK for the wisdom as we are told in James 1:5 (check it out!!)
Chapter 6 — The title of this chapter was “Warning Against Folly.” We were encouraged to be wise with our money, not be lazy, and again another warning against adultery (MUST be REALLY important to The Lord.) Interesting that God spells out 6 things The Lord hates and 1 (a seventh that is detestable.) Woo hoo… had me STOP in my tracks to read it a couple of times to see where I need to improve.
Haughty Eyes (arrogance and pride)
Hands that shed innocent blood
A HEART that devises wicked schemes (does not say they are carried out…ever think of them though)
Feet that are quick to rush into evil
False witness who pours out lies (Gossip, lies, murmurings, etc.)
A man who stirs up dissension among brothers (bad advice, trouble maker.)
I honestly NEVER thought of anything reducing me to a loaf of bread…kind of interesting if you think about it…usually within 24 hours after being opened it begins to go stale, grows mold easily, and gets thrown out….so if sleeping with a prostitute can do this to you…. WHY go that route? Sounds like rapid deterioration as a result of the moment of pleasure. What does it sound like to you?
The important thing in all these chapters is that with each CHOICE we make in life…there are CONSEQUENCES. Isn’t it wonderful that we have a guidebook that clearly lays out what some of the consequences of a good and bad choices could be. Think about it. Which way do you choose to go….wisdom or folly?
Sharing HIS love,