Sunday, June 4, 2017

Guard your heart From Sin, Proverb 4:23

Though the Old Testament book of Proverbs contains God's wisdom for people of all age groups, it is uniquely a book for young people. I believe God's Spirit led King Solomon to write and record these wise bits of instruction to help youth avoid the sort of mistakes and moral failures that will rob them of joy and well-being as adults. Today's commentary on verse Proverb 4:23, comes from Bethany Bible Church
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
Proverb 4:23
Often in the book of Proverbs, Solomon writes almost as if he's talking one-on-one with a young person. He warns this young person about the dangers of hanging around with the wrong crowd, or about dabbling in sexual sins, or about being undisciplined in behavior. He encourages this young person to reverence God and to pay careful attention to good, godly counsel. He encourages this young person to cling tightly to the sort of "wisdom for living" that comes only from God. There are thirty-one chapters in Proverbs - a chapter for every day of the month. I heard that Dr. Billy Graham has read a chapter a day from Proverbs for years now. The practical matters of our lives would go a whole lot better if we did the same.

Notice how King Solomon speaks in Proverbs 4:20-27 - the section in which this verse is found. You can almost feel the sense of urgency and seriousness with which Solomon speaks.
My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22).
Plainly, Solomon is longing for this young person to take hold of what he's about to say. It's as if he is trying to tell him something that will make all the difference in his life. And can you also notice how all-encompassing his message to this young man is? Those who hear and keep his words, he says, find life and health to their body! What he is about to tell this young man is of crucial importance. All of his life will be affected by it.

He then goes on to say;
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil (Proverb 4: 23-27).
When you read this, the word that should pop into your mind is, "discernment" - the ability to determine and choose the good from the bad, the right from the wrong. It's a characteristic of maturity to be discerning.
Infants lack discernment. Toddlers have only one drive in life in relation to everything they see: put it in the mouth! A small child crawling on the kitchen floor will find a Cheerio under the chair - and into the mouth it goes. He finds a potato-chip fragment - and into the mouth it goes. But he doesn't care if the thing is edible or not. If he finds a broken piece of purple crayon - into the mouth it goes. If he finds a dead bug - into the mouth it goes. Little children lack the important ability to be discerning.

Many adults lack that same characteristic when it comes to their own heart. They don't discriminate between what's good for them, and what's bad. They will let just about anything contaminate their spiritual life. They often spend more times guarding and protecting their property than their soul. They spend more time watching their diet than their spirit. They spend more time scrutinizing their financial assets than their thought-life. They fail to watch their heart; and they suffer loss as a result.

When King David, Solomon's father, fell horribly into sin, he became a broken man before God. His brokenness is recorded for us in Psalm 51. There, we find these words: "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart - these, O God, You will not despise" (Proverb 4:17). David's great prayer request was, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me" (Proverb 4:10).

I believe that is a prayer request God delights to answer. Let's follow David's example. Let's present to God the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart; and let's ask Him to create a "new heart" within us. Let's bring ourselves to the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ - with all our sin and failure - and experience the forgiveness God purchased for us there. And then, let's watch over our hearts with all diligence; because from it flow the issues of life.

(Credit for this commentary goes to Bethany Bible Church

Proverb 4 (NKJV)
Security in Wisdom

01 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
00 And give attention to know understanding;
02 For I give you good doctrine:
00 Do not forsake my law.
03 When I was my father's son,
00 Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
04 He also taught me, and said to me:
00 "Let your heart retain my words;
00 Keep my commands, and live.
05 Get wisdom! Get understanding!
00 Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
06 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
00 Love her, and she will keep you.
07 Wisdom is the principal thing;
00 Therefore get wisdom.
00 And in all your getting, get understanding.
08 Exalt her, and she will promote you;
00 She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
09 She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
00 A crown of glory she will deliver to you."

10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
00 And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
00 I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
00 And when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
00 Keep her, for she is your life.

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
00 And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
00 Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
00 And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
00 And drink the wine of violence.

18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
00 That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;
00 They do not know what makes them stumble.

20 My son, give attention to my words;
00 Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
00 Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
00 And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
00 For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
00 And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
00 And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet,
00 And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
00 Remove your foot from evil.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment