Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Verse - Proverbs 1:10-19

About once every 6 months, I think: "Hmmm...I should read Proverbs." Regrettably, this inclination lasts about a week at most, and then I find my reading of Proverbs sadly neglected. Consequently I have never read the whole book, although I feel most guilty in admitting it. However, I have read the first couple of chapters heaps of times!

I don't know why I've never gotten through the whole book, as it is SO good! I heard a pastor once say that every young person should read a proverb each day, and since the book only has 31 chapters, that essentially means you'd get through it 12 times a year. Such a great idea!

This book is so full of great wisdom. So if you'd like to be wise, Proverbs is the book to consult. But I guess it's more than reading: the study and the application are both fundamental parts. The story of Solomon, the author of Proverbs, proves that it's not enough just knowing what is wise. We actually have to follow through on this knowledge in our everyday actions.

In case you don't know the story of Solomon, it goes a bit like this. Solomon was the King of Israel from 971-931 BC. God granted him great wisdom (1 Kings 4:29-34). It is said that his wisdom was greater than any other person's at the time. However, he failed to live out the wisdom which God gave him, and ended up leading a life of vanity, idolatry, and slavery to sin.

But I digress. For those who do not know, I am a very literal person - I take most things at face value. The other morning I read Proverbs 1:10-19:

10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,[a]
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
13 We shall find all kinds of precious possessions,
We shall fill our houses with spoil;
14 Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse”—
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
16 For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely, in vain the net is spread
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners.

My immediate thought was: Well, I don't know anyone as bad as that; I'm not involved in any kind of gang. So I read it, and went on my merry little way. Well, situations arose that day where I felt pressure to do something against my conscience. I am happy to report I stood my ground, but I was quite shaken.

Later that day, Luke said to me: "Hmmm... that sounds a bit like when the Bible warns you against sinners enticing you to join in with them."

Light bulb moment:  
My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent...
My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.

Although it sounds kind of stupid, it was only then I realised that here Proverbs is warning us against any situation that causes us to compromise our desire to obey God and do good works. I know it was pretty obvious, but as I said I am very literal. However, this situation really encouraged me to think and meditate on the Scriptures more. Obviously you don't want to take them out of context, but we must remember that God uses His Word to speak to us, so that we may know what is good and right, and so we can live our life to glorify Him. We can't do that if we don't spend time in the Word.

Until next time :)

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