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

 

The Humble WILL be Rewarded – ZEPHANIAH – Chapter 3e [13]

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. –  Philippines 3:14

 

9))  “Then I will purify the speech of all people,
so that everyone can worship the Lord together.
10))  My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
will come to present their offerings.
11))  On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed,
for you will no longer be rebels against me.
I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you.
There will be no pride on my holy mountain.
12))  Those who are left will be the lowly and humble,
for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.
13)) The remnant of Israel will do no wrong;
they will never tell lies or deceive one another.
They will eat and sleep in safety, and no one will make them afraid.”

 

Comparing Genesis 11:1-9, http://wp.me/p5nZpi-2W, and Zephaniah 3:9-13 we see that people were/will be coming together for a single purpose, yet their motivations are quite different. In Genesis 11:1-9, the people are coming together to make themselves famous, Genesis 11:4. Whereas, in Zephaniah 3:9-13, they will be coming together to humbly worship God.

Verses 11-13 tell us that we can look forward to the day when the humble will be rewarded. Rewarded because they lived their earthly lives trusting God, listening and following Him.  They not only listened to God’s word, but they did what it said,  James 1:22.

This is the same day, the day of hope, we pray and look forward to, when we pray, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,  Matthew 6:10.

The day of hope is a “real” day.  A day when those who have humbled themselves, yielding themselves to God vs. self-reliance and pride, will enjoy fellowship with God and God-followers.

Can it Appear that I’m Following God? – ZEPHANIAH – Chapter 1b – [3]

If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison, — your father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters, — yes even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:26

God had sent in reinforcements to assist King Josiah, the prophet Zephaniah.  We see in 2 Chronicles 34:3a, Josiah began to seek God when he was 16 years old.  At 20 years old he began purifying Judah and Jerusalem, destroying ALL the pagan shrines, the Asherah poles, and the carved idols and cast images. – 34 Chronicles 34:3b. And it wasn’t until he was 26 years old, that the Book of the Law was found.

The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. He promised to obey all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll.  And he required everyone in Jerusalem and the people of Benjamin to make a similar pledge. The people of Jerusalem did so, renewing their covenant with God, the God of their ancestors. – 2 Chronicles 34:31-32

If everything seems to be flowing along just fine, why does God send Zephaniah to the people of Judah (http://www.biblehub.com/nlt/zephaniah/1.htm) slamming down his fist,  preaching fire and brimstone, and the imminent wrath of God?

It is because of what we read above in 2 Chronicles 34:31-32. Josiah sought God, Josiah repentant inwardly. And perhaps even more importantly those inward convictions resulted in outward/visible signs of repentance, and his trust and hope in God.  The people of Judah and Jerusalem, however, did not share King Josiah’s conviction.  Sure they obeyed the King’s orders, renewing their covenant with God. But they only did that because He (KING Josiah) required everyone to pledge the faith in God. – 2 Chronicles 34:32

The people of Judah and Jerusalem only paid the king, and God, lip-service. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. – Isaiah 29:13