Scripture reading for July 6th: Proverbs 5-9
“My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. for the lips of an adulteress drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil. But in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.” (Proverbs 5:1-5)
Solomon’s warning to his sons stands as a warning to men of all ages and times. Many have heard these words and read them, but did not heed the warning and experienced the promised results. Headlines blare every day about another famous person, politician, minister, or actor who has committed adultery and brought attention. It is almost a badge of honor to those who are caught up in the world system! God calls it “sin” and it was punishable by stoning to death in the old Testament! Adultery leads to shame, disgrace, and ultimately death. This sin is also a form of idolatry that God sees as “spiritual adultery” in breaking our relationship with Him!
Satan has used women and sexual desires to cause the ruin and death of many throughout history. Solomon’s own father, David, succumbed to the temptation of adultery and his sin has been read about for over 3000 years! Solomon, himself, had over 1000 women in his harem. These wives were his downfall, because many worshiped idols and they brought idolatry into Solomon’s life! Sexual promiscuity is itself related to idolatry. We are setting up our desires as superior to the Word of God and creating an idol out of our own appetite!
Many times, men recklessly believe that they will not be seen or caught in their adulterous forays. Even if the affair is secret to all others, God sees everything ! (Proverbs 5:21) God promises us that the cords of our sin will hold us fast and we will die for our lack of discipline! (Proverbs 5:22-23) Often men blame the women for enticing them. They may also blame their own wife for a lack of sex or affection that drives them to another woman. The truth of the matter is God sees it as their own folly that is at fault!
The Bible is very clear on the consequences of adultery. Death and the grave are both mentioned more than once as a consequence of going in with an adulteress. (Proverbs 5:5) (Proverbs 7:27) Regret, oppression, depression and misery are also mentioned as following this adulteress. (Proverbs 5:9-14; Proverbs 6:33) Possible retaliation by the husband of the adulteress could cost your life and peace! (Proverbs 6:34-35) The verse that talks about taking fire into his lap may be referring to sexually transmitted diseases. Scientists have found that syphilis was common among the kings whose remains were mummified. (Proverbs 6:27) When looked at objectively, there are really no desirable benefits to adultery!
Wisdom will keep us from the adulterous woman. Discretion will guard us and keep us away from her door. The fear of the Lord will cause us to hate this evil and love truth. Jesus Christ has been made to us our wisdom! (1st Corinthians 1:30)
Scripture reading for July 4th: Proverbs 1-4
I have personally read Proverbs dozens of times over the last thirty years. For many years I read the entire book of Proverbs each month as a daily discipline. For the past 8 years, I have read the chapter of Proverbs for that day at the bi-weekly men’s accountability breakfast that I am a part of. Even though I have read or heard Proverbs many times, I am still impressed at how they speak freshly to us about our daily lives. Wisdom is a bubbling brook!
Hearing and listening can be two different things. Almost everyone can hear what is being said but listening in order to learn and apply truth is a different process requiring humility and a teachable spirit. As we begin the book of Proverbs, take a moment to check your hearing and listening abilities. Put your mind in a learning mode. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you new insights about successful living and decision making as well as who God is.
Solomon is the author of many of the proverbs. He was David’s son through his wife Bathsheba. Solomon was visited by God and given an opportunity to ask for anything he desired. He asked for wisdom to rule God’s people. God was pleased and the proverbs are some of the written record of the wisdom God blessed Solomon with. Solomon wanted to pass that wisdom on to his sons. These early chapters talk about the benefits of wisdom and how it may be found. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7) There are those who either don’t want wisdom or are so enthralled with their own way that Solomon gives them names. Simple, fool, and mocker are the three names of those who refuse to listen and learn! (Proverbs 1:7, 22) Thankfully, those names are not descriptive of any of us!
Listening to wisdom has many blessings. It brings knowledge and discretion to the young as well as guidance. (Proverbs 1:4-5) It brings safety to those who listen and they have rest and no fear of harm. (Proverbs 1:33) A person who listens to wisdom understands the fear of the Lord and finds knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:5) Your soul will find joy and you will rest in God’s protection. You will be kept safe from wicked men who are on crooked paths leading to destruction. (Proverbs 2:12-15) You will also avoid the adulterous woman and her path that leads to death. (Proverbs 2:16-19) Listening and keeping wisdom brings long life and prosperity. (Proverbs 3:2) Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her and they will be richly blessed! (Proverbs 3:18)
Wisdom is to be prized above any other treasure. (Proverbs 3:13-15) We must lay hold of wisdom by taking hold of the words given by the Father. (Proverbs 4:1-5) We must prize it and faithfully esteem wisdom. We must hold onto instructions of wisdom and guard them. Wisdom is our life and health to our whole body! (Proverbs 4:22) Wisdom is to reside in our heart! (Proverbs 4:23) Wisdom sounds a lot like Jesus Christ, in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! (Colossians 2:2-3)