Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Proverbs, Chapter Four

1 ¶ Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. 10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

This is a repeats what has been said before. Something of note is the subject of Crowns. Here, wisdom delivers a crown of glory in verse 9. Paul mentions a crown of rejoicing and a crown of righteousness awaiting those with converts they have led to the Lord and those who eagerly await Christ’s return. (1Thess. 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8). In the tribulation letter of James, written specifically to the Jews in the Tribulation a crown of life is promised in James 1:12 to those that love Christ and have endured temptation and trial. In the Tribulation letter of 1 Peter 5:4 the elder who does well receives a crown of glory.

A crown of glory is found mentioned in these Old Testament verses as well.

Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

And here in prophetic verses about the people of Israel.

Isaiah 28:5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,

Isaiah 62:1 ¶ For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. 2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. 3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

14 ¶ Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Again the young man is told not to follow the wicked people who can’t sleep if they haven’t done something bad. I used to hang around those people. Over a few beers or alcoholic drinks they plot out what stupid, immoral, or bad things they are going to do or would like to do next. They aren’t able to rest unless they have least talked about doing something wrong.

The same goes for good, church going people who can’t rest unless they see someone stumble in their walk with Christ. They’ll even offer the person every opportunity to mess up so they can say, “see, I told you so”.

Literally, here the metaphors like eating the “bread of wickedness” and drinking the “wine of violence” have even been the titles of books and songs. The words of this paragraph are powerful and deserve to be heard over and over in our ears. Let me repeat this.

Remember the darkness that was upon the face of the deep in Genesis 1 and the darkness that could not comprehend or defeat Christ in John 1. In our time, people who choose to do evil stumble and fall and have no idea what tripped them. That is the nature of the age we live in. Just look at your friends and relatives and the people you work with. They suffer and grope blindly in the dark, all the while telling you they know exactly what they’re doing.

Go back to verse 18.

Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

The perfect day is coming.

20 ¶ My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Out of the spiritual heart come all the issues of life. Most of our problems in life came from within ourselves.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Mark 7:18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; 19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? 20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Don’t take your eyes off the path that God has laid out for you in this Book. Just before the great verse about the Book of the Law not departing out of the Hebrew’s mouth in Joshua 1, he says;

Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

Young people, stay with the Book and stay united with a Bible believing Church body. Attend church regularly and stay involved. As you enter the most dangerous stage of your life, late teens and early twenties, you’ll need both to keep from falling flat on your face in the mud.

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