Pathways Through Proverbs
June 1, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 1
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Following Scripture Verses
- The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
- To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
- To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
- To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
- A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
- To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
- The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
- For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
- My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
- If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
- Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
- We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
- Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
- My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
- For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
- Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
- And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
- So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
- Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
- She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
- How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
- Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
- Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
- But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
- I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
- When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
- Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
- For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
- They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
- Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
- For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
- But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
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When people do foolish things, our society is very quick to try to find some reason or excuse for their behavior. Criminals, drug addicts, alcoholics, and high school drop-outs all can find some advocate or agency that will declare that the individual is not really responsible for his or her poor behavior. The person's upbringing will often be blamed. Perhaps he grew up in an "unloving" situation or in a "dysfunctional" family. Maybe his parents were poor, or perhaps his parents divorced when he was young. Maybe his dad was a drunk. There are countless reasons given as to why the person in question makes the choices that he does. If his family can't be blamed, then society as a whole will be blamed. The bottom line, however, is that the person makes his decisions based upon external forces, and he really can't help himself.
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Certainly a man's upbringing will have an impact on his life, and there are probably societal pressures as well. However, Solomon makes it clear in today's passage that men make their decisions because they want to make those decisions. He asks the simpletons to explain why they love their foolishness so much. In other words, the simple make foolish decisions because they love them. He next states that scorners delight in their nasty, mocking speech. He concludes by writing that fools hate knowledge. Please note that in none of these circumstances does Solomon lay the blame on anyone or anything beside the individual. In each case the problem resides within the mind and heart of the man himself.
James 1:15 tells us that it is lust that brings forth sin. A man does what his heart and flesh tell him to do. Let's stop making excuses for our bad behavior, and start looking at ourselves and realizing that we are the problem, and that things will only change when we determine to submit ourselves to the Lord.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery