Pathways Through Proverbs
March 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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Solomon offers an important lesson in today's verse. While the king is teaching his son to beware of others, I believe that this verse is also well-suited for each of us to use to exam ourselves.
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The primary purpose of this verse was to warn about getting caught up in a close relationship with an evil man. The reason given in the context is that even though the man may offer you many wonderful things, he is still, in his heart, an evil man, and thus the Christian needs to stay away from him. This is sound advice. Many a foolish person, particularly a young person, has been taken in by a man who had a sinful reputation, yet wooed the fool into trusting him by treating him nicely and offering him special privileges. Once the young person has been taken in, then the wicked man's true character reveals itself, but by then it may be too late. The principle: avoid entanglements with evil men, regardless of how nice they may be to you. Their hearts are wicked, and they can not be trusted.
There is a second lesson here as well. If I want to know what kind of man I really am, and what kind of person God knows me to be, then all I need to do is exam the thoughts and wishes of my heart. All of us know what our innermost desires are. We know what we think about when we are alone. We know what we really think about other people, and what our attitudes and motivations really are. Thus, I know what kind of Christian I am, for my heart reveals it to me. I may go to church on Sundays and do all the "right things", but if my heart is wrong, then my relationship with the Lord is wrong.
What is it that you think about? It is what you are in the eyes of God.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery