Should I Follow Any People??? – PROVERBS 2:20-22 [5 of 5]

You are a person of God; so run from all these evil things.  Johnny Depp (center)     Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance (continue doing something even though it may be difficult), and gentleness. – 1 Timothy 6:11

 

20 Follow the steps of good men instead,  Following your steps-HigRes-004_0
    and stay on the paths of the righteous.
21 For only the godly will live in the land,
    and those with integrity will remain in it.
22 But the wicked will be removed from the land,
    and the treacherous will be uprooted.  – Proverbs 2:20-22

The title for Proverbs Chapter 2, as seen in many Bible translations, is the Benefits of Wisdom.

Wisdom’s purpose is to guide and teach us.  As mentioned in the introduction of Proverbs, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-1j, Proverbs are principles, not promises.

A principle is a statement telling someone of a likely/probable outcome.  Example = “if you play with fire you’re going to get burned.”
fire

A promise is a statement telling someone of a definite outcome.  Example = “if you put your bare hand into the fire, your skin will be burned.”
burned hand

Thankfully, God has given us the ultimate travel guide, The Bible.  And additionally, He has given us godly/wise people to help us along our journey.  Following their steps, verse 20 – Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous, can help us avoid the bumps and “potholes” of life.  car bumps                                                                                             They might offer wise advice saying, “when I was younger, I thought it was ok to tell my friend just what I felt about them.  But then I realized I didn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle when I spouted off.  I felt so dumb at that point, and wished I could have taken back the nasty words I said, but it was too late.  I tried speaking my mind, and I should have remember the saying, we have one mouth and two ears, so listen twice as much as you talk.”

Advice given to us by a godly, trusted, life-experienced person   –    priceless                                                            

Let wisdom enter your heart. Let knowledge fill you with joy. Allow wise choices to watch over you, and understanding to keep you safe.  –  Proverbs 2:10-1, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-6P

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Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places…. PROVERBS 2:16-19 [4]

The LORD stands beside me like a great warrior.  aslan lion         Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. – Jeremiah 20:11

 

16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman,
    from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.
17 She has abandoned her husband
    and ignores the covenant she made before God.
18 Entering her house leads to death;
    it is the road to the grave.
19 The man who visits her is doomed.
    He will never reach the paths of life.

Verses 16-19 are talking about another temptation people often face.  The media glorifies it, and people get entangled in its enticement.  The temptation – sexual sin.

The song, ‘Looking for love in all the wrong places’, from the movie Urban Cowboy comes to mind when reading verses 16-19.  The lyrics to the chorus are:

I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places
Lookin’ for love in too many places
Searchin’ her eyes, lookin’ for traces
Of what I’m dreamin’ of
Hoping to find a friend and a lover
I’ll bless the day I discover,
You – lookin’ for love.

urban-cowboy-21                          love lp

People tend to use sex in an attempt to fill “a hole”.  That hole, being a desire to love and be loved, as the lyrics above mention.

There is nothing wrong with having a desire for love.  In fact, it is God who gave us that desire.  Unfortunately, many times in our search for love we end up side-stepping God’s teaching and guidance.   We may find ourselves led astray by the ways and beliefs of our culture. Although we’ll find a ton of cultural support for our ungodly choices, the results may turn out to be anything but what we have hoped.

It is easy to get draw into sexual sin when led solely by feelings.  Often times people think that “I “feel” so happy, maybe if I sleep with ____, they’ll “feel” that same way about me.”  Or, “I have “needs”, and if God didn’t want me to fulfill them, He wouldn’t have given them to me.”  We’re reminded, however, in verses 18 and 19, that those who give into sexually immoral “feelings” are being led to death, not life.  They will be doomed, not blessed.

Remember God’s promise to us:

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33

 

Don’t Become a “Victim” of Poor Choices… – PROVERBS 2:12-15 [3]

Now you are free from the power of sin   shackles  and have become followers of God. Now you do the things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. – Romans 6:22

 

12 Wisdom will save you from evil people,
    from those whose words are twisted.
13 These men turn from the right way
    to walk down dark paths.
14 They take pleasure in doing wrong,
    and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
15 Their actions are crooked,
    and their ways are wrong.

Wisdom is protective, it will save us, verse 12.  One way Wisdom saves us is by protecting us from evil people, as described in verses 12-15.

Evil people’s path:
v.13 – they do not follow the godly path, but dark path
v.14 – they enjoy their ungodly and twisted ways
v.15 – their actions and ways of doing “things” are crooked and wrong

Camera 360                twistedpainting

 

BUT there is help!!

Verse 12 reminds us that applying knowledge (wisdom) protects us from becoming “victims” of poor choices, or falling for unfilled promises of smooth-talkers.  Wisdom protects us from people who twist the truth, enticing and tempting us to choose an ungodly path.
These types of people remind me on the serpent in the garden, twisting God’s words and tempting Eve – Genesis 3:1-7, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+3%3A1-7&version=NLT                                                                                                                                                 <    Or   >
A wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing. – Matthew 7:15 – Looks sweet and safe on the
outside, but is actually very dangerous.

Thankfully God loves us so much that He provides us with help.  An escape route when we find ourselves in tempting situations     – WISDOM –

REMEMBER:

  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful.   
He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out, provide a way of escape, so that you can endure it.  –  1 Corinthians 10:13

–  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:5

 

Wisdom in Available to You, RIGHT NOW, TODAY!!! – PROVERBS 2:7-11 [2]

For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield. – Psalm 5:12

 

7    He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.

Wisdom is unique. It not only gives everyone have the opportunity to receive it, but it’s benefits are far-reaching.  With wisdom we get God’s protection, see words in bold print.

We get understanding, making the “wise” path clear to us. No more confusion.  Choosing a Path

We’ll have direction, and know which path to choose among the various options.   choosing right path

Here’s the key — Although we’ll know which path to take, it will be up to us, as we exercise our free will, to choose the “wise”/God directed path. Don’t just listen to God’s Word, DO what it says. – James 1:22

Verses 10-11, tell us that when wisdom enters our heart, the knowledge we’ll receive will —

  • Fill us with joy
  • Watch over us, and
  • Keep us safe.

Wisdom is not something I hope for sometime in the future.  It is a gift that is available to me right now.  A gift, should I choose to accept and open it, will yield abundant blessings.

Can Anyone Have Wisdom?? – PROVERBS 2:1-7 [1]

The Lord shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands? – Job 34:19

 

My child, listen to what I say,
    and treasure my commands.    listening
2 Tune your ears to wisdom,   
    and concentrate on understanding. winnie-the-pooh-thinking
3 Cry out for insight,   cry out
    and ask for understanding.   ask
4 Search for them as you would for silver;     detective
    seek them like hidden treasures.
THEN you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
    and you will gain knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
    From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.

Solomon again reminds us of the importance of wisdom in these first verses of Proverbs 2.  They remind me of a parent talking to their child saying, “look at me, I have something extremely important to tell you.  Are you listening?  Do you hear me?  These things I’m going to tell you are “life savers”/”joy givers”. Remember/apply what I am telling you!!!

Notice that these verses encourage people to be proactive.
Look at the words in bold print above. They are all action words.

It is through an individual’s desire to have wisdom, that they will find it.
Verse 5 tells us, as does Matthew 7:7 – that if you ask it will be given to you; if you seek you will find; if you knock the door will be opened to you.  God wants everyone to have wisdom.  He wants everyone to gain understanding of His Ways.  He is the giver of wisdom.

But wait, there’s more…

Knowledge or Wisdom? – PROVERBS – Introduction 2 – [2]

Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. – Proverbs 1:7

Humans have something unique that no other creatures possess – the way our minds work.  thinking-person-24255334   Humans have an ability to reason, to analyze, conceptualize, theorize, discuss and debate.  Humans have a built-in desire to learn. This learning and understanding is fostered through schools, universities, and in the home/family.  It is in these environments that people learn about themselves and the world around them.

In the paragraph above, we see human’s desire for knowledge. pile-clipart-book6-233x300

But knowledge is different from wisdom.  Knowledge is having the facts, where wisdom is the ability to apply the facts (knowledge) to our daily life. The word proverb comes from the Hebrew meaning, “to rule or govern”. Proverbs provide advice for directing and ordering our lives.

Solomon has left us with 3 books of wisdom, found in the Bible.  Proverbs, Ecclesiastics, and Song of Songs.

In the Book of Proverbs, Solomon’s advice is given in the form of proverbs, hence the name.  A proverb is a short, concise sentence that conveys moral truth (principles of right and wrong behavior).

Solomon has put together a collection of proverbs, giving the reader practical examples of how to live their lives according to godly wisdom. Their intention is to improve people’s relationship between each other and God.

As we look through the Book of Proverbs – Remember: Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. – James 1:22