Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Proverbs 1: 8-19

Today's Thought Questions:
  1. From where do we receive instruction about God?
  2. What distracts us from receiving instruction?

We begin today with a familiar request of a parents: "Hear me! Hear me! Don't forget what we've taught you!!" Times really haven't changed in that regard, if we're being raised by responsible parents.

The Bible notes in quite a few places the importance of parents in teaching, training, bringing up their children. Why is parents' instruction so important--to be called "a graceful wreath" and "ornaments"? (vs 9) Their instruction offers much to the protect their offspring from the enticement of sinners.

If we are enticed, what do we do? "Do not consent." (vs 10) Sounds simple enough. Why don't we all do that? Ask your kids why they don't, if you don't remember.

Sin is what separates us from God. It's everything He is not. We may rate it in our own minds on a scale, but God doesn't. The examples we read today--murder and robbery--may be on your "worse" scale, but God wants us to substitute gossip and "little white lies" in these passages and infer the same conclusion.

"Come with us..." (vs 11)--the peer pressure call-to-action that lures us into trouble. Look at vs. 13 and its promises of reaping tangible benefits. I love how my study Bible puts this: "This is the enlisting of the innocent without full disclosure of intent." I'll say!

Again, though, are we not all swayed in some way by a promise of fulfillment for something that won't truly satisfy? Worse, something that leads us to sin! (Remember, the wages of sin is death.... Romans 6:23)

Hear the voice of wisdom, as it comes through Godly parents--"My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path...." (vs 25) The biggest mistake we make is taking one step toward that direction. Will we accept training and instruction that wisdom's voice might overpower that of the one leading us to sin?

Our passage for today closes with an interesting picture. Verse 17: "Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net in the sight of any bird."

The point being, if the bird saw the net--and knew that it was a net and what a net could do (that's critical...that's knowledge and discernment!)--would it be in this position? Yet, as the passage concludes, this is what sinners do to themselves. They rush into their sin; their lives are taken.

To review yesterday's Scripture, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The more we have the Lord in our sights, the less likely we will have our feet turning toward the path of sinners, toward their ensnaring nets!

(Photo: www.wildturkeyhuntinginfo.com/turkey-traps/)

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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:

Proverbs 1: 20-33
  1. Do you desire to respond to Wisdom's call? If so, what does God promise to do?
  2. What has God taught you though these verses?

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Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).


The Patterson 5 said...

Parental wisdom: Oh if I could have a nickel for every time my parents advisements were given and I thought, "oh what do they know?" only to discover they knew exactly how things would go. I was blessed with wise, not perfect (they would want that added in) parents who love God and what maturity did not teach them life experiences did. They had much to share--- woefully accepeted by me as a teenager, gladly welcomed now that I am an adult.

In this passage there are two ways to go...the foolish evil way and the wise way...in these verses the parents represent the wise way and encourage their child to follow.

The evil way is the way of death even if in this life they seem to prosper.eternal judgement will come.

Wisdom is to be embraced for the foundation of wisdom is God himself. I am thankful that our day of judgement has already been paid for...by Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Colossians of Jesus....chapter 2 verse 3: "In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

Sue J. said...

Thanks for adding that Colossians passage, because we won't find that in Proverbs (yet, that is the truth).

I think we definitely see the grace of God in protecting us through our youth, even as we turn away from our parents' instruction. If you're like me, you wonder how anything you say actually makes it into your child's head....but it does, sometimes. And I have only to say, "God's grace...."

KelliGirl said...

Oh, I'm already a day behind! I have to go to a program at my son's school soon, but I'll be back to catch up and dig deeper.

Thanks for your comments on my blog this morning. Great thoughts about the Old Testament. You've motivated me to reconsider cracking open the books in the OT I've been avoiding all these years. (After my class, though!)

Plus, you get Dan's sense of humor which is a little bit scary! ;-)

Enjoy the day.

Chatty Kelly said...

I'm glad I have the Bible to glean knowledge from and don't have to count on my parents teaching. I pray that I will "teach my children well" so they can look back on my words and remember them.

Carmen Gamble said...

My parents instruction kept me from making a few big mistakes in my life, although I still managed to make a few others. "Let me make my own mistakes," I would chant...and I got what I wished for!

"The enlisting of the innocent without full closure of intent." That is so true and well put!

I think it's interesting that it begins with only one step. It's amazing how easily we are swayed if we allow even one thought to slip. That's all it takes! We must continuously be firm in our resolve to obey God's Word...because sometimes our worst enemy, is ourselves!

Great post today!

Sue J. said...

Carmen, even as we're chanting "Let me make my own mistakes!" we're really saying, "I know what I'm doing!!" We do deceive ourselves in that regard--the folly of youth! Probably why we can only embrace so much wisdom when we are young. Under a loving God, that can change!

C.K., even though your parents did not verbally teach you everything necessary, by their example--and not what we would consider the best example--they have taught you much, and that teaching has not gone unregarded. God blesses your children with your wise example AND words!

B His Girl said...

I am reminded in this of something from Winnie the Pooh that has always stuck out in my mind. He is at rabbit's house and sees honey. I think he gets caught with his paw in the jar. Pooh defends himself saying, "I wasn't going to eat it. I was just going to taste it." Most of us taste and see the ways of the world at some point. When we find that doesn't work we are open to tasting the real thing. The world always offers a substitute and we are distracted by it. B