Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Never Envy The Sinners Life, Proverb 23:17

Listen to Your Father

01 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
00 Consider carefully what is before you;
02 And put a knife to your throat
00 If you are a man given to appetite.
03 Do not desire his delicacies,
00 For they are deceptive food.

04 Do not overwork to be rich;
00 Because of your own understanding, cease!
05 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
00 For riches certainly make themselves wings;
00 They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

06 Do not eat the bread of a miser,
00 Nor desire his delicacies;
07 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
00 "Eat and drink!" he says to you,
00 But his heart is not with you.
08 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
00 And waste your pleasant words.

09 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
00 For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not remove the ancient landmark,
00 Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 For their Redeemer is mighty;
00 He will plead their cause against you.

12 Apply your heart to instruction,
00 And your ears to words of knowledge.

13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
00 For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
00 And deliver his soul from hell.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
00 My heart will rejoice--indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
00 When your lips speak right things.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
00 But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter,
00 And your hope will not be cut off.

19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
00 And guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not mix with winebibbers,
00 Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
00 And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

22 Listen to your father who begot you,
00 And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
00 Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
00 And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
00 And let her who bore you rejoice.

26 My son, give me your heart,
00 And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 And a seductress is a narrow well.
00 And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
00 And increases the unfaithful among men.

29 Who has woe?
00 Who has sorrow?
00 Who has contentions?
00 Who has complaints?
00 Who has wounds without cause?
00 Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
00 Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
00 When it sparkles in the cup,
00 When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
00 And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
00 And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
00 Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 "They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
00 They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
00 When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?"

Charles Spurgeon is one of the great teachers of the Word of God, and even though I do not hold to his Calvinist beliefs, I still find many of his teachings to have been blessed by God. One of them is his commentary on envy and the fear of God.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
00 But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day;
Envy of sinners forbidden, and the fear of God enjoined
I. Some of the reasons why men very frequently are induced to envy sinners.
1. They perhaps see them possessed of wealth, in the enjoyment of many outward comforts, and encircled with the means of gratification; and these are things after which human nature hankers. The idea of happiness is commonly connected with the possession of them. But, surely, to envy these fleeting possessions little becomes a wise man. Surely his lot is not to be desired who lives here under the Divine displeasure, and who must very shortly endure the righteous judgment of a justly offended God.
2. But we find men sometimes disposed to envy sinners on account of the apparent freedom from care and anxiety in which they live. But that gay unconcern about eternal things which is attributed to them we ought to commiserate rather than envy.
3. But whatever circumstances in the condition of the sinner men may admire, unbelief is the source from which all envy of his lot must proceed.
II. The nature and effects of the fear of the Lord.
1. It is not a fear of Him as an irresistible and implacable enemy; but it is a fear grounded on a just perception of the excellency of the Divine character, connected with love to Him, and with an expectation of the largest blessings from His hand.
2. But what are the effects which the fear of God will produce?

The cure for envy
The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the Divine presence, worshipping God and communing with Him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clear, and the desires are more elevated. The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. The fear of God casts out the envy of men. The death-blow of envy is a calm consideration of the future. The wealth and glory of the ungodly are a vain show. This pompous appearance flashes out for an hour, and then is extinguished. What is the prosperous sinner the better for his prosperity when judgment overtakes him? As for the godly man, his end is peace and blessedness, and none can rob him of his joy; wherefore, let him forego envy, and be filled with sweet content. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The nature and advantages of the fear of the Lord
Scarcely anything has a more immediate influence upon our duty or comfort than the due government of our passions. Hence the wise and virtuous, in all ages, have employed themselves in forming rules for their regulation. But it is found more easy to prescribe, than to reduce these rules to practice. The religion of Jesus provides the assistance requisite to enable us to comply with rules.
I. What is it to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long? Fear is a passion of the human mind, and stands opposed to hope. It always has for its object some evil, real or supposed. Here its object is the evil and danger of sinning against God, and the just displeasure of God, in consequence of offending Him. To fear these is to fear the Lord in the best sense of the phrase. We should live under the habitual influence of this holy temper, and carry it with us into all the duties of the religious and social life.
II. Why should we study to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long?
1. It is an excellent guard against the commission of sin. The man cannot knowingly and deliberately sin against God who has a suitable sense of His being, perfections, character and government.
2. It really assists us in the right performance of duty. It greatly tends to invigorate the graces of the Spirit in the soul, and to call them forth into lively exercise.
3. It excites us to the important duty of watchfulness, and greatly assists us therein.
4. God recommends this duty to our study and practice, by His Divine authority. Then if you would be in the fear of the Lord--

Of the duty of fearing God
The fear of the Lord is sometimes the whole duty of man; sometimes the devotional duties of religion.
I. The true notion of fearing God.
1. It must be such a fear as includes in it a high degree of love. Then we shall make a difficulty of nothing He commands. Then our service of Him will be rendered more acceptable.
2. It includes it in a generous hope and confidence. Hope is the spring of industry.
II. The influence this fear has to suppress in us all envious and disquieting thoughts. By a holy fear we secure to ourselves an interest in His special providence and protection and grace here, and in the promises of glory and eternal life hereafter.
III. Proper motives and arguments to enforce this duty of fearing God.
1. From the consideration of His infinite power and majesty.
2. From His intimate knowledge of all our thoughts, words, and actions, and of the secret springs of them.
3. The consideration of God’s justice. He hath appointed a day wherein He will judge the world in righteousness. This is an irresistible argument to excite us to the practice of piety. (R. Fiddes, D.D.)

The principle by which each person is to be perpetually governed
Many mistake by viewing religion as separate from common life, and as hardly to be made to accord with it.
I. The principle which is to actuate us. “The fear of the Lord.” The fear attends the whole of religion.
1. As a quality, to temper the whole; to bind doctrine and knowledge; to keep confidence from growing up into rank presumption, and liberty from degenerating into licentiousness.
2. As a quickener, to excite and to enliven the whole.
II. The extensiveness of its influence. To be in the fear shows the frequency of its exercise, and of its invariable constancy. See the attributes of this fear as regards--
1. Devotions, regular and ejaculatory.
2. The business of the day.
3. The trials of the day.
4. Its relaxation, recreation, and refreshment.
5. The company of the day.
6. The opportunities and occasions of the day.
III. The advantage of its habitualness.
1. It will render religion more easy and pleasant.
2. It will render your religion more obvious and certain. It furnishes the best evidences of its reality. Then be concerned to exercise diligence.

The wicked not to be envied
I. What is it in sinners that we are apt to envy?
1. Many sinners have much money. Riches are not necessary to any man. Still, human nature is so weak and so corrupt that but few men can look at the wealthy without envying them.
2. Sometimes the wicked seem to have a great deal of pleasure. Take their word for it, and no people are so happy. Those who have not health, or money, or time thus to live at ease, are very apt to envy these lovers of pleasure.
3. Some sinners seem to get many of the honours of life. They seek the honour that cometh from man, and they have their reward. Silly people stand off and admire and envy.
4. Some envy the wicked for their apparent freedom from restraint. The law of God does not bind them any further than suits themselves. To a carnal mind this looks like a fine way of getting through the world, and the foolish envy these lawless ones.
5. Sometimes sinners seem to be, and for a long time are, free from afflictions, which so much distress the righteous.
II. There is no good ground fob preferring the state of sinners. There is really no Divine blessing permanently resting on the wicked, as there is on the righteous. There is also a sad amount of alloy mixed up with all that sinners have. The passions of sinners are at war with each other and with mankind. The devices of the wicked will ruin them. The wicked are not without smitings of conscience. All nature is armed against the wicked. Instead of envying sinners, pity them and pray for them. Let the righteous show that they are pleased with the choice which they have made. (W. S. Plumer, D.D.)

Divine providence
The text is a persuasive to contentment and satisfaction with Divine providence, which permits wicked men to flourish for awhile, enforced with this reason, that there is a reward laid up for all such as trust in God and meekly submit to His will.
1. Let the times be never so perilous and dangerous, yet God’s providence ought not to be questioned by us, whatever its unequal distributions be. Answering the objection that, if God’s providence governs all the issues and events of things, virtue should never go unrewarded, plead that there is no man but has grievously sinned against the Lord. Therefore they can have no cause to question His justice in their suffering. Besides this, it may be urged that affliction is a proof of God’s tender love and kindness; that the prosperity of the wicked often turns to their hurt and disadvantage; and that the day of judgment will set all things right.
2. Show how we are to demean ourselves under the actual oppressions of prosperous wickedness. The best course for a man to take is to hold himself to God, to trust in Him, and order himself according to His will.
3. We must not go out of the road of duty, and do as the wicked do, because we see them prosper.
4. The flourishing condition of the wicked is but short-lived, and therefore not to be envied.
5. There is an assured reward, if ye have patience awhile, and meekly submit to the will of God in His providential administrations. Then seek to live so that God may bless you with the continuance of His blessings. (T. Knaggs, M.A.)

All the day long
I. The prescribed course of the believer “Be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.” We must be in the fear of the Lord before we can remain in it. The fear is for all the day, and for every clay. Some have a religion of show, others a religion of spasms. Ours must never be a religion that is periodic in its flow, like certain intermittent springs. Beware of the godliness which varies with the calendar. Note the details which are comprised in this exhortation. Remember not merely to associate religion with the routine of life, but also with special occasions. There are excellent reasons for being in the fear of the Lord all the day long. He sees us all the day long. Sin is equally evil all the day long. You always belong to Christ. You can never tell when or how Satan will attack you. Your Lord may come at any hour.
II. The probable interruption. It has happened to godly men in all ages to see the wicked prosper, and they have been staggered by the sight. There is no real cause for envying the wicked; and envying them will do you serious harm. Envy helps in no way, and hinders in many ways.
III. The helpful consideration.
1. There is an end of this life.
2. There is an end of the worldling’s prosperity.
3. God has an end in your present trouble and exercise.
4. There will be no failure to your expectation. The promise of God is in itself a possession, and our expectation of it is in itself an enjoyment. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

A caution against envy and a call to piety
I. A serious caution. This should be regarded--
1. Because envy is a disposition of mind whose influence can never be justified.
2. Because to envy sinners is absurd.
II. The admonitory precept. This implies--
1. To be in possession of correct and spiritual ideas of His holy and exalted character.
2. To cultivate suitable dispositions of heart towards Him.
III. An encouraging assertion. “For surely there is an end,” etc.
1. There is an end to that prosperity with which the efforts of sinners are crowned.
2. There is an end to the tribulation of the saints.
3. The expectation of those who continue in the fear of the Lord shall not be cut off. Human expectations are cut off by slothful and indolent habits, and by unforeseen occurrences. Instead of envying sinners, saints should pity them, pray for them, set them good examples, and try to save them. (Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

God bless each and everyone of you and my Prayers for the families of those murdered and those injured in Manchester terror attack.

The purpose of Writing the book of Proverbs was to reveal the mind of God in matters high and lofty and in common, ordinary, everyday situations. It appears that no topic escaped King Solomon's attention. Matters pertaining to personal conduct, sexual relations, business, wealth, charity, ambition, discipline, debt, child-rearing, character, alcohol, politics, revenge, and Godliness are among the many topics covered in this rich collection of wise sayings.

Without wisdom, knowledge is nothing more than an accumulation of raw facts, influenced by emotional feelings. Many highly educated people are in positions of power in the United States, but very few of those educated leaders have the wisdom needed to rule properly.

One can say that they have been educated well beyond their intelligence. A cursory look at the court system will prove my point that knowledge without wisdom will only lead to an immoral society that eventually crumbles from within. Judges are supposed to be above the fray, and immovable to emotions. Instead, the vast majority of judges today are Godless individuals who are vacant of wisdom. So their rulings are totally based upon emotional feelings.

We the people are to blame, because we ignored God's guidance in appointing our leaders. Instead of putting leaders full wisdom in power, we instead chose those who would scratch our itchy ears to lead us.

Of the 31 Proverbs, only the first 24 were written by Solomon. King Hezekiah wrote 5, Proverbs 25 to 29, Agur wrote Proverb 30, and Lemuel wrote Proverb 31. Now many believe Lemuel was in fact King Solomon and Lemuel was just a nick name his Mother, Bathsheba gave him. We are told that Solomon write over 3000 Proverbs and composed 1000 songs, but the only Proverbs God decided to preserve for us are Proverbs 1-24. Like the New Testament epistle by James, it is impossible to get a chronological outline for a study since they all bounce from subject to subject.

Along with my daily routine of reading the Bible, I try to read through the book of Proverbs once a Month. It's an easy task when you consider there are 31 Proverbs. So all you need to know is what day of the Month it is. In the Months that have 30 days, or in the case of February, I just double up by reading more than one two proverb so I can begin the next month with Proverb 1 on the first again.

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