Sunday, June 25, 2017

Self Control Of Your Spiritual City Proverbs 25:28

The city is a big concept in Scripture. It’s cast in a somewhat negative light before the flood, but afterward is pictured as much more promising for human flourishing, culminating in the heavenly city of Revelations. The city of Jerusalem was most significant for God’s people because God himself dwelled there. More than that, God personally built and protected Jerusalem, until his people rejected him and were exiled, and the city was destroyed. The implication of the metaphor if this Proverb is not just people are cities but more specifically God’s people are God’s city.

We can say the metaphor expands to say self-control is a city wall. “Self-control” is a paraphrase of the Hebrew, which says something like “restraint of spirit”. Implicit even in this expression, then, is the idea that the spirit has a structure. And apparently that structure can be damaged, which is distinctly a bad thing. Put conversely, whoever lacks control over his spirit—whose spirit is damaged and left in disrepair—is as good as ruined. The one without an intact spirit is already “broken into” and left as exposed as he was found.

Self Control

Set in the context of the whole book of proverbs is Proverbs 25:28, which calls on the imagery of the first nine chapters where Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly are personified as two alternatives.
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit
Is like a city broken down, without walls.
Among the admonitions against foolishness we learn folly leads to destruction (Proverb 1:32)
and the worthless, wicked person will face certain calamity: “Therefore disaster will overtake
him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed without remedy” (Proverbs 6:15). This is
the choice the person without self-control in Proverbs 25:28 has made, to inevitable
ruin. Israel learned this lesson the hard way when they lacked self-control by rebelling against
God in disobedience, only to end up in exile with their capital city destroyed.

But there is an alternative. We are also invited to follow Lady Wisdom, who lives in a well
constructed house of her own (Proverbs 9:1–6). Those who enter this house “will dwell
secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster” (Proverbs 1:32). In fact, we learn
wisdom is a characteristic of God himself, the “master workman” who in his supreme power
established the foundations of the earth (Proverbs 3:19 & Proverbs 8:30. He is the architect
of all creation, the one who built and sustains it (Proverbs 8:22–29).

In turn, people are cities because God has built and sustains us, just as he does with all creation.
Our spirit—the metaphorical wall of the self—has been damaged by sin such that we often lack
control. Even as those dwelling in God’s city used to constant ransacking because of our
spiritual defenses. Left in that state of disrepair, destruction often seems inevitable.

But God is in the construction business. Those with broken spirits are precisely those who
need him. As the psalmist proclaims, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the
crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). In his grace, our God rebuilds his ruined city into a household,
with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19–22).
by William Ross, "Self-Control and Your Inward City Wall."

Proverb 25 (NKJV)

Rule Your Spirit

01 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of
00 Judah copied:

02 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
00 But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

03 As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
00 So the heart of kings is unsearchable.

04 Take away the dross from silver,
00 And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.
05 Take away the wicked from before the king,
00 And his throne will be established in righteousness.

06 Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king,
00 And do not stand in the place of the great;
07 For it is better that he say to you,
00 "Come up here,"
00 Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince,
00 Whom your eyes have seen.

08 Do not go hastily to court;
00 For what will you do in the end,
00 When your neighbor has put you to shame?
09 Debate your case with your neighbor,
00 And do not disclose the secret to another;
10 Lest he who hears it expose your shame,
00 And your reputation be ruined.

11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
00 In settings of silver.
12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
00 Is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.

13 Like the cold of snow in time of harvest
00 Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
00 For he refreshes the soul of his masters.

14 Whoever falsely boasts of giving
00 Is like clouds and wind without rain.

15 By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded,
00 And a gentle tongue breaks a bone.

16 Have you found honey?
00 Eat only as much as you need,
00 Lest you be filled with it and vomit.

17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house,
00 Lest he become weary of you and hate you.

18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
00 Is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble
00 Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.

20 Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather,
00 And like vinegar on soda,
00 Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
00 And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
00 And the LORD will reward you.

23 The north wind brings forth rain,
00 And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.

24 It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
0 Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

25 As cold water to a weary soul,
0o So is good news from a far country.

26 A righteous man who falters before the wicked
00 Is like a murky spring and a polluted well.

27 It is not good to eat much honey;
00 So to seek one's own glory is not glory.

28 Whoever has no rule over his own spirit
00 Is like a city broken down, without walls.

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.

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