1 Get Wisdom
"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." Proverbs 4:7
Here's the thing... wisdom is the thing... get wisdom... and while you're at it, get understanding. Vacation time is over for many of us, and it will soon be time for school to start again. Many will be starting the new school year on a new level, learning new things. I want to take a few weeks to look at the wisdom found in the book of Proverbs. We are never too old to learn from God's Word. When God asked Solomon what He could give him, Solomon asked for an understanding heart. God said, "... I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee." (I Kings 3:12) Pray for wisdom as we look in God's Word at some of the Proverbs of King Solomon. And as you increase in wisdom, pray for understanding. God can give us both wisdom and understanding, and without God we have neither. "For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6) Here's the thing... wisdom is the thing.
2 Trust In The Lord With All Thine Heart
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5 & 6
These are very familiar verses and seem so simple. But they are full of great truth. Sometimes it is hard to keep trusting in the Lord instead of trying to work things out for yourself. Especially when things seem to be going wrong. But remember that "...all things work together for good for them that love God..." and keep trusting that God knows best and is working everything "according to His purpose". (Romans 8:28) Even when you don't understand why certain things happen, know that the Lord is still in control. Put Him first in every aspect of your daily walk and be certain that He will direct your paths. Ask Him each morning to lead you in the way He wants you to go. There will be times when things are beyond your control and beyond your reasoning, but keep trusting in Him and follow His paths.
3 Boast Not Thyself Of Tomorrow
"Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1
It is natural in our human minds to say, "I'll see you tomorrow", or "I'll do it tomorrow". But, in all reality, we are not promised tomorrow. We should do what we can for the Lord today. Our lives can change or even end in an instant. Countless people have lost their lives instantly in automobile accidents. Others go instantly by heart attacks or reasons never known to man. We should serve God and plan our lives according to His will, but at the same time, do all we can today. It is a good practice to say, "Lord willing" after everything you speak of doing in the future. That is the way God wants it. We read in James 4:14 & 15 "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." Serve God today.
4 Speak Softly
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Proverbs 15:1
This is an easy verse to memorize. It would be wonderful to learn it and use it. How many times have we been upset over something that someone said or did and blurted out something harsh? It hurts them and it usually comes back to hurt us. But when we are mistreated and we handle it like a Christian, and speak softly, the other person usually responds in a much softer manner himself. We need to learn to speak softly. Theodore Roosevelt said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." But we don't even need to carry a big stick. God is big enough to handle our problems. Speak softly and overcome anger.
5 The Way Of A Fool
"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." Proverbs 12:15
You don't have to talk to people very long before you realize they always think they are right. There are very few who will admit that they are ever wrong. But God's Word says that even fools believe they are right. The lost cannot see what is right. They are blinded and deceived. They see Christians as being weak, because Christians rely on God. Actually those who rely on God are strong and wise. Listen to the counsel of God and Christian friends. Seek God for wisdom and let Him show you what is right.
6 A Good Word
"Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad." Proverbs 12:25
The book of Proverbs contains so many truths in such simple verses. How many times have you been feeling so low that your heart and shoulders were stooped? How wonderful it is when someone says something that lifts your spirit. When you notice that someone around you is feeling low, take time to offer him or her a good word. When someone seems short-tempered or hateful with you, try to say something kind to him or her. You don't know what has made his/her heart heavy. It is always uplifting to hear a "good word" from a special friend when you are feeling discouraged. Be that special friend. Offer a "good word" and make someone glad.
7 A False Balance
"A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight." Proverbs 11:1
God wants us to be honest. A balance was used in everyday dealings by the merchants. A dishonest merchant may have put a heavy weight on the balance when buying so that the seller would have to add more to make it balance. He may have also had a light weight for selling so that he could sell less for more money. God wants us to be true in our everyday dealings with others. We should never try to cheat others. We should also be true to ourselves. If you cheat in class you are really cheating yourself. You are in school to learn. It's not just about good grades. Learn wisdom and understanding. Don't cheat yourself. Not only are we to be honest with others, and with ourselves, we should also be honest with God. We could never give God what He deserves. He gave His only Son for us. But we can give Him of our time, our talents, and our tithes. Always be true.
8 Happy Is The Man
"Happy is the man that findeth widsom, and the man that getteth understanding." Proverbs 3:13
Think of a problem that you have faced recently. One that seemed impossible to figure out. It could have been a homework assignment, a physical problem, or even an emotional crisis that got you down. You worked at it and studied it forwards and backwards. You talked about it with others and spent time alone with God, praying for wisdom. Then, suddenly... you realized the answer. It came to your mind, clear as crystal. It was then, you found happiness. You were so relieved and excited that everything made sense; you may have felt a little foolish that it took so long to find the answer. Wisdom brought happiness. The harder the problem, the greater the joy. The deeper the search, the brighter the solution. We can be happy in our quest for knowledge. We can find joy in our understanding. Search for knowledge. Look beyond your problems and find joy in your newfound wisdom.
9 Give Instruction To A Wise Man
"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." Proverbs 9:9
Isn't it kind of ironic that those who think they know it all really lack in understanding, and those that strive to learn seem to be wise in their learning? You can't teach much to people who think they have all the answers. But someone who wants to learn just seems to drink in the knowledge. I hope you were able to go to church today and learn from God's Word. I saw a magazine article recently that said that many people who used to be faithful to go to church no longer see a need to attend church to worship. They feel that they can worship God in their homes. We can, and should, pray and read our Bible daily and learn from God. But we can also grow and learn as we sit under our preachers and teachers. I believe that the more we want to learn from God, the more He will show us, and the more He shows us, the more we will want to learn.
10 The Fear Of The Lord
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased." Proverbs 9:10 & 11
I was talking with a co-worker last week and she said that fear is what drives people; fear that your spouse will leave you, fear that you will have a car wreck... I think that most people fear the wrong things. We should have a reverential fear of the Lord. We should fear the wrath and judgment of a holy God. Solomon said, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom." When we have faith and trust in the Lord, He will calm our fears, just as He calmed the troubled seas. He can bring a calmness to our heart and mind that relieves our fears and adds days and years to our lives. Learn to say with David, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." (Psalm 56:3)
11 As Cold Water To A Thirsty Soul
"As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25
It was 96 degrees Fahrenheit where I live yesterday. It may reach 100 degrees today. On days like this we need to drink plenty of cold water. I like iced tea and colas, even lemonade, but nothing seems to satisfy my thirst as well as cold water. Good news can have the same refreshing effect to a thirsty soul. When you are away from home, and feeling sort of lonely, it helps to hear good news from home. With computers, telephones, and even the old-fashioned mail service, it is easier to hear good news from home. But remember, that goes both ways. If you are going away to summer camp or college, your family also likes to hear good news from you. Isn't there someone who would like some good news from you today?
12 Fear And Destruction
"Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;...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:" Proverbs 1:24, 27-29
Our temperatures are in the high 90's and everyone is talking about how hot it is. When a friend of mine asked someone how she was, she replied, "I'm just standing here enjoying the heat... preparing for my future." My friend said that the words shocked her so much that she didn't know what to say. I think people who joke about going to hell will remember their words. They laugh at Christians and curse God, but the day will come when they will call upon God and it will be too late. Don't wait until it is too late to fear the Lord. Call on His Holy Name while He is reaching out to you.
13 A Wise Man Will Hear
"A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels." Proverbs 1:5
It is interesting that this does not say, "A wise man will speak, and others will listen." That is the way the world looks at wisdom. This verse says that the wise man will hear. That is the way to increase your wisdom... listen. Listen to the older folks and learn from their experiences. Listen to the counsel of strong Christian friends who have been through trials. Listen to the advice of Christian parents who want what's best for you. Listen, and weigh all the counsel in your mind as you pray for God's guidance. Solomon's own son should have heeded this advice. I Kings chapter 12 is a great example. Verse 8 says, "But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him." Rehoboam did not listen to the wise counsel and the people rebelled. The kingdom was divided and he was king over the house of Judah and Jereboam became king over all Israel. (I Kings 12:20)
14 Overcome Evil With Good
"If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee." Proverbs 25:21 & 22
Good advice... but hard to follow. It is hard to be good to your enemies. It is hard to give to those who have been rude and ugly to you, maybe even betrayed you. Jesus told us in Matthew 5:44 "...Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" God knows the whole story. He knows why people behave the way they do. He knows the pain and suffering they may have on the inside. We are to show love to others, even when they show hatred towards us. Paul quotes these verses from Proverbs in Romans 12:20 and follows with, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21) Don't stoop to their level by being like them. "Overcome evil with good."
15 Clouds Without Rain
"Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain." Proverbs 25:14
We all know people who brag about themselves. Most of the athletes and stars we see think they are the best there ever was. I guess it is even worse when you know that they are only fooling themselves. There must have been people like this even during the time of the kings of Israel. I don't know what talents they may have boasted of, but King Solomon compared them to empty clouds. Oh how the people must have rejoiced when they saw clouds forming in the distance. Then, how disappointed they must have been when the winds blew, and the clouds just blew away with the wind. Maybe that is where we get the sayings, "He's just an old windbag" and "He's just full of hot air". Let your actions show people who you are and what you can do. We all know, "Actions speak louder than words."
16 Pleasant Words Are As An Honeycomb
"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24
I have always liked this verse. It sounds so poetic. It's amazing how much kind words can lift us up, even when we are down. Love and kindness can be good medicine for anyone. We can think on the mercy and grace of our Lord and have joy and peace in our hearts. Think pleasant thoughts. Share pleasant words. There is so much badness in the world today, try to share some of God's goodness to those around you. Sweeten your surroundings with pleasant words.
17 Apples Of Gold In Pictures Of Silver
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Proverbs 25:11
Solomon spent seven years building the temple and in I Kings 6:22 we read, "And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold." We can read all about the gold and precious stones used and imagine its beauty. A silver picture with apples of gold would have been a beautiful piece of artwork. God's Word tells us that our words can be like that. Let your words be fitly spoken. If the gold apple had no boundaries, it would flow into the silver and the picture would be a mix of gold and silver. Don't talk on and on without boundaries. Let your words add beauty to the conversation, instead of dominating those around you.
18 Don't Be A Talebearer
"Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth." Proverbs 26:20
Ouch. This verse pricks to the heart. We have looked at how good pleasant words can be, but here is a contrast to how bad gossip can be. How many times have we been guilty of throwing wood on the fire? It is human nature to want to gossip and talk about people, but as Christians, we should care about people enough that we would not want to hurt them. And our careless words do harm others. Verse 22 goes on to say, "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly." Just as we would never stab or physically harm others, we should be careful also of what we say about them. Be a fireman... help put out those fires.
19 A Man Of Few Words
"He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." Proverbs 17:27 & 28
Way back when I was in school, I had a teacher who used a quote that went something like this, "Better to keep quiet and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." I don't know the origin of the quote, but these verses reminded me of it even though it was so long ago. Sometimes it is not what we say that makes us appear smart, but what we don't say. The next time you really don't know what to say, it may be better not to say anything at all.
20 Words From The Heart
"The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness." Proverbs 15:14
We have been looking at verses all week about the effect of our words. Today we are relating our words to what is in our heart. This chapter is full of wisdom concerning our heart and our mouth. When our heart is right with God, we can use our lips for His glory. "A soft answer turneth away wrath..." (vs 1) "The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness." (vs 2) "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life..." (vs 4) "The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so." (vs 7) "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." (vs 13) "A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!" (vs 23) "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words." (vs 26) "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things." (vs 28) I think all these verses show us that what is in our heart usually comes out our mouth. We can tie all these together with Proverbs 14:33, "Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known." And 16:23 "The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips." When you are truly wise, and have the knowledge and Spirit of God, it fills your heart and overflows into your life. Keep His Word close to your heart, and let your heart guide your words.
21 Troubling Words
"Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles." Proverbs 21:23
This time we are looking at troubling words. It is so tempting to join in on conversations about other people. We know or think we know things about our acquaintances and we want to just speak up when the opportunity arises. Even when the information is true, or not really all that bad, we should still keep our mouths shut. We not only cause trouble for that person, but we are also troubled afterword about the things we said. We should also be careful not to stir up strife with argumentative words. If we will remember that God hears our every word, we will be more selective of them. Our Lord said, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:36 & 37) Keep your mouth and tongue, and keep your soul from troubles.
22 Six Things The Lord Hates
"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19
First on the list of things God hates is a proud look. God wants us to humble ourselves. As we look at the remaining things on this list of things God hates, we see that three of the seven things come out of our mouth, and another one comes out of our heart. God hates a lying tongue. This is listed before "hands that shed innocent blood". It is listed again under different wording as "a false witness that speaketh lies". We should always be truthful in what we say. Those we are talking with may not know when we are not telling the truth, but God always knows. Then the last thing listed is "he that soweth discord among brethren". In I Timothy 5:13 they are called "busybodies, speaking things which they ought not". We need to choose our words carefully. Don't stir up trouble. Walk close to God and be careful to avoid these things that the Lord hates.
23 Every Word Of God Is Pure
"Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him." Proverbs 30:5
We have talked about our words. They can be sweet as honey, and so pleasant they are a help to others. Or they can be harsh or ugly and harmful to others. We may not choose the right words all the time, but "every word of God is pure". Do you feast on His Word only on Sunday? There are valuable life lessons in God's Word. The book of Proverbs contains many wise words that can be a guide to our daily walk. Carry God's Word with you. Hide His Word in your heart. Let His Word be a light to your path. Let Him be your guide and shield. When trouble or temptation comes, put up that shield of truth and trust in God. His Word never fails.
24 A Friend Loveth At All Times
"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
"A friend loveth at all times..." That's the measure of a true friend, someone who will rejoice with you in the good times, and won't leave you in the bad times. We go through changes in our lives as we grow up. We may move from place to place and feel like we lose many of our friends. Take comfort in this verse. True friendship is real. It is easier today to keep up with friends with transportation and computers and phones. Maybe there is an old friend who would like to hear from you today. The second part of the verse talks about brothers. There times when brothers and sisters have arguments and disagreements with each other, but will stand up for each other when trouble arises. When we are saved into the family of God, we become brothers and sisters in Christ. Be a good friend. Help your brothers and sisters in their times of trouble.
25 Do You Want Friends?
"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24
When I was growing up I thought my Dad knew everybody. He talked to people everywhere we went. I later realized that he didn't know all the people he talked to, but he was a friendly person and could talk to anyone, just like he had always known them. And because he was friendly, he made lots of friends. As I got older I started talking to people more but I also learned to listen to others. Being friendly can mean talking with others, but it also means listening to what they have to say. The dearest friends are those who will listen when you have problems and will also listen and share your joy when good things happen. But there may be things that you can't even share with your closest friend, and that is when you can be truly thankful for Jesus, "a friend that sticketh closer than a brother". We read some of Jesus' Words on friends in John 15:12-14, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." Do you know the One who laid down His life for you? Do you know the Lord as your personal friend and Savior? He loves you and will never leave you.
26 Foolish Friends
"Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge." Proverbs 14:7
This verse has good advice on choosing friends. It's fun to kid around with friends and have a good time, but there is a difference in having friends that like to have fun, and those that are just fools. I think one of the ways you can tell the difference is found in verse 9, "Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour." You can tell a lot about people if they mock sin, and more than that, if they mock the things of God. Choose your friends wisely. I don't think you should deliverately become enemies of the lost, but you shouldn't become "unequally yoked" with them either. Be a good Christian example to everyone around you in your daily walk with God. Don't let the foolish drag you down. Let your light shine for Christ and be a good friend.
27 Be A Good Neighbor
"Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee." Proverbs 25:17
The book of Proverbs is full of interesting, helpful advice. It was written thousands of years ago, and yet we can find these helpful little tidbits of information to help us today. Here we find that it is not good to "overstay your welcome" as the old folks put it. My grandmother used to flip the light switch when she thought it was time for visitors to go home. I was told she even did it when a Sunday school class was having a class meeting at her house. It is good to visit and spend time with our friends, but we don't want our friends to be weary of us. And we especially don't want to drive them to hate us as it warns in this verse. If you are going away to college, it is especially important for you to remember this verse. It is wonderful to make new friends and spend time with them. But don't stay in his/her room all the time, "lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee." Have fun with your friends and neighbors. Spend time in fellowship with them. But remember to be a good neighbor and don't let yourself become a pest.
28 Practical Jokes
"As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?" Proverbs 26:18 & 19
Here is a warning to be careful with joking. It is not funny to play jokes on people to harm and deceive them. The Bible compares it to someone who throws torches and shoots arrows, causing death. I know dorms can become a place where kids start playing practical jokes on each other, and each time can become more malicious. Be wary of that. Don't let joking "get out of hand". It is not good to be deceitful to your friends, even if you are just joking.
29 Who Hath Woe? Who Hath Sorrow?
"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?" Proverbs 23:29
What an unusual verse. The answer to all the questions is in the next verse, "They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine". (Proverbs 23:30) These verses were written so long ago and still their message is true today. As you go off to college and make new friends, don't fall into the temptation of alcohol. We read further, "At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder... thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea... They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake?" (Portions of verses 32-35) The really sad part of this lesson is the last part of verse 35, "I will seek it yet again". Don't fall into this trap. You may be away from home and the guidance of your parents, but God sees all and knows all. "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." (Proverbs 15:3)
30 Ponder Your Path
"Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established." Proverbs 4:26
Ponder your path... think about your next step. Meditate on your actions, before you do them. Sometimes, even when our intentions are good, we can make mistakes. We can say or do something that is taken the wrong way. One way to help avoid making more mistakes like this is to ponder our steps. We need to search diligently and continually for God's leadership in our everyday lives. We need to stay as close to God as we can and daily walk on His straight and narrow path. One of the best reasons I know to ponder our paths is found in Proverbs 5:21, "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings." He sees us and cares enough about us to ponder our paths and actions. This shows His amazing love for us. He leads us in the paths of righteousness. Ponder your path... think about your next step, and be established. And know that God is also thinking of you.
31 The Path Of Light
"Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass by it, turn from it, and pass away." Proverbs 4:14 & 15
We talked about pondering our path. Here we have a warning not to enter the path of the wicked. Solomon continues, "The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my saying." (Proverbs 4:19 & 20) Stay on the right path, the path of light. "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Proverbs 4:18) The words Solomon had most likely learned from his father, David, he wanted to pass on to his sons... "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105) We also read about the living Word and The Light in the New Testament. "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (I John 1:5-7) Choose the path of light.
32 Pride, The Path Of Destruction
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18
This is a good verse to memorize. We know many people who lift themselves up in pride, only to fall and sink into destruction. "A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit." (Proverbs 29:23) Let's look at some of the other results of pride. "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2) "Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom." (Proverbs 13:10) Let's look at our verse once again... "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." If we lift ourselves up in pride, we will fall. But we also read, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:10) Read God's Word. See how big God really is, and you will see how small you are. Humble yourself, and God will lift you up.
33 The Paths Of A Strange Woman
"Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her." Proverbs 7:24-26
We need to back up and see who this woman is. "Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words." (Proverbs 7:4 & 5) "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids... Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?... But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul." (Proverbs 6:24, 25, 27 & 32) Don't stray down the path of adultery. Here are strong warnings from the wisest man that ever lived. Read chapters 6 & 7 of the book of Proverbs. Then read chapter 31 of Proverbs. "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her,... She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life... Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised." (Proverbs 31:10, 11, & 30) Choose the right path when choosing a mate.
34 The Pathway Of Righteousness
"In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death." Proverbs 12:28
We began the week talking about pondering your path. Today let's look at the path of righteousness, the path of life. We read in Romans 3:10, "...There is none righteous, no not one" and Isaiah 64:6, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..." We can only obtain righteousness through the blood of our Savior. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Have you accepted this gift of salvation? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) Jesus is the only way to have life. Once we receive salvation we can walk in the path of righteousness. We also see in verse 3 of the 23rd Psalm, "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." God wants to lead us in paths of righteousness. Find your life in Him.
35 The Unknown
"Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1
We have been talking about the different paths we can take in life. The most important being in Christ, the only Way, to heaven. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12) Be saved now. Follow God today. We are not promised tomorrow. Jesus told a parable of a rich fool. "And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:16-21) Are you walking in the right path? Are you laying up treasures in heaven? Live for Christ today, because we have no promise of tomorrow.
36 The Eyes Of The Lord
"The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." Proverbs 15:3
What a difference it would make if everyone believed this. What a difference it would make if those of us who do believe this, would continually remember it. We all look at Jonah and say how silly it was for him to try to hide from God. But how many of us are trying to hide our sins from God? Many think that things are not wrong if they don't get caught. But God sees all and knows all. He even knows the pride and envy in our hearts. We can't hide anything from God. But look at the last word in our verse. "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." God also sees the good. There are times when you don't think it matters that you are doing the right thing. You don't think your efforts make a difference. But God not only sees the bad, He sees the good. Keep doing those things for Him that you think are unnoticed. Keep serving the Lord. You may think your part is so small that it doesn't really matter, but God sees all. He knows your heart. Remember that God is watching over you continually.