Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Proverbs 6-9

Beautiful October breezes are blowing in this evening!  Thankful for the refreshment they bring!

Here are some observations from the past few days in Proverbs...

Be careful what you get involved in financially.

Proverbs 6:1-4 "My child, if you have put up security for a friend's debt or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger - if you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said - follow my advice and save yourself, for you have placed yourself at your friend's mercy.  Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name erased.  Don't put it off; do it now!  Don't rest until you do."

Before we co-sign, before we lend, before we borrow, we need to stop and seek God's guidance and wisdom.  Many have gotten themselves in financial disaster by trying to "help" someone, or by not examining the small print of an agreement.

Work hard!

Proverbs 6:6-8 "Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.  Learn from their ways and become wise!  Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter."

Whether our work is paid or unpaid, salaried or volunteered, in an office, classroom, home, or church, we need to be willing to work hard at what we do!  One summer on a missions trip to Mexico, our group memorized Romans 12:11 - "Never be lazy in doing your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically!"  I have thought of that verse many times since then.

Remember the advice and wisdom of your parents.

Proverbs 6:20-22 "My son, obey your father's commands, and don't neglect your mother's instruction.  Keep their words always in your heart.  Tie them around your neck.  When you walk, their counsel will lead you.  When you sleep, they will protect you.  When you wake up, they will advise you."

I have said before that I am so incredibly grateful for the wisdom and protection my parents gave me growing up.  Children need boundaries, advice, correction, instruction, and protection.  What my mom and dad taught me from God's Word truly protected me from so many devastating consequences, and set me up for success in life.  I pray I will intentionally and lovingly give my children that same instruction and protection.

If it is immoral, don't go near it.

Proverbs 7 is a warning to a son about the luring temptation of immoral women, and the ruin found in falling into their snare.  Verse 25 says, "Don't let your hearts stray toward her.  Don't wander down her wayward path."  That is excellent advice for us regarding anything immoral - don't wander down that path!  Don't even go near it.

Wisdom is far more valuable than money.

Proverbs 8:10-11 "Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.  For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.  Nothing you desire can compare with it."

In a world of many who falsely believe acquiring more wealth and possessions will solve their problems and satisfy their longings, we need to work on acquiring more wisdom. God's wisdom is of far more value than any possession!

Here it is again...wisdom brings JOY!  

Proverbs 8:32-35 "And so my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful.  Listen to my instruction and be wise.  Don't ignore it.  Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!  For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord."

God's ways are good!  They bring such joy!

Don't be surprised if a foolish person rejects wise advice, and is even angered by it.

Proverbs 9:7-9 "Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.  Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.  So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.  But correct the wise, and they will love you.  Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser.  Teach the righteous, and they will learn more."

A teachable spirit is an interesting thing.  Someone who possesses it and listens to wise counsel will grow in wisdom, as this passage says.  But those who don't possess it - those who think they know everything, think they don't need to pay attention to God's Word, those who continuously make rash or immoral decisions - will not follow wise advice.  They will even get angry at the giver of wise advice. Have you ever gotten angry when someone gave you counsel from God's Word?  Or have you ever given wise counsel from God's Word, only to get insulted and lashed out at in return?

Important lesson for all of us - we need to keep a teachable spirit, one that is sensitive to the Lord and His Word!  God, I pray you will teach us all something new during this study of Proverbs!

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