Pathways Through Proverbs
February 23, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 23
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Following Scripture Verses
- When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
- And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
- Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
- Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
- Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
- Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
- For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
- The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
- Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
- Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
- For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
- Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
- Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
- Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
- My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
- Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
- Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
- For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
- Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
- Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
- For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
- Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
- Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
- The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
- Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
- My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
- For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
- She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
- Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
- They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
- Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
- At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
- Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
- Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
- They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
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In this passage Solomon gives his son wisdom, and then gives him a means by which to carry out his instructions. First, he tells him not to be envious of sinners. Notice that he tells him to not be jealous down in his heart. It is not good enough to simply control our behavior, but rather we are not to even think jealous thoughts. It is interesting that he makes reference here to the prosperity of sinners. While Paul tells us that Biblical love never envies anyone (I Cor. 13:4), Solomon understood that sometimes it is a real temptation to have jealousy particularly towards the ungodly. Often the unsaved have great material possessions. However, they may have become rich through their wickedness. They may be famous or popular, but this may have come at the expense of their relationship with God. Solomon warns that it is foolish to be envious of someone who has achieved great things while rebelling against the Lord. There are two reasons for this. First, we will want to be like those we envy, and no thinking Christian would want to be like an unsaved man. Second, the unbeliever will ultimately stand before God to be judged for his behavior. His wealth, fame, and power will not help him then.
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What will keep us from longing to be like those who are prosperous, yet wicked? Solomon advises his son to fear the Lord all day long. Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10), this fear will help us to grow wiser in the Lord, which will keep us from making foolish decisions. In addition, if a man spends all his time thinking about the Lord, he will have no time left to think about how successful his ungodly acquaintances may be.
Constantly fearing the Lord will keep us from carelessly following the world.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery