What wisdom will say – Proverbs 8:32-9:12

Thinking Child

9  9:4  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that   wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

This is the message that goes out to all those who are simple.  They are invited to a study session, where, for free, they are given all the information they need to be wise.

1  8:32  Now therefore hearken unto me, O you children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

1  9:12  If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

There is a blessing attached to all those who listen.  The blessing comes in this form.  If you are wise you get to enjoy the benefits of being wise.  If you are a scorner you get to suffer the penalty of being a scorner.  No one wants the company of a scorner because they are usually the ones who suffer at their hands.  If you think the difference between the two is not worth having, it is the difference between a blessing and a curse.

2  8:33  Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

2  9:11  For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

You are not asked to do something too hard.  You need to listen to what wisdom has to say and you will be wise.  You then can make the choice .  This next proverb is like many that appear, and one student was irritated because it is not a true statement.  You do not receive a blessing and your days are not multiplied, and the years of your life increased.  This objection is valid while ever you take the view you have a franchise on life to the age of seventy years and then it becomes a bit dodgy.

A hundred years ago you only lived to forty-five, and if you go out on our roads you may only live into your teens.  Nobody has a lease on life as if it cannot be taken away.  And concerning the blessing, anyone who has experience of it will know about it, but it is real and precious.  And I will say to those who are still to reach fifty, not everyone wants to go on too much further than seventy, because dodgy is what it is.

3  8:34  Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

3  9:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Can you imagine somebody hanging out to hear what she has to tell them?  I can, it makes the best sense in the world.  People who get involved cannot wait to hear about the next step.  They are riveted to the spot waiting for more of this valuable advice.  You know you want to be wise enough to make your way in this complicated world.  You know you cannot afford to be without this instruction.  And the most valuable part of it is, you get to fear God and this becomes the motive force that will keep you on track.  You love to understand the knowledge of the holy.

4  8:35  For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

4  9:9    Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

Here are another two blessings.  You find life and God becomes your friend and not your enemy.  Like everyone else you take life for granted.  There is a promise attached that life will is offered to you beyond the span of seventy years and this is worth consideration.  I know it involves believing, but this is not hard.  You believe in everything around you, all you are asked to do is believe in the one who made it for you.  If you say you are already wise then you can only get wiser.  If you say you are already a just man, then you will learn more than you know now.

5  9:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

5  9:8   Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

If you ignore wisdom you sin against her and wrong your own life.  If you hate wisdom you love death, because this is what you get.  Here is some helpful advice you can put to use immediately.  If you come across a scorner, just ignore him, and do not under any circumstances reprove him.  He is waiting for someone to oppose him, and he has a heap of scorn in reserve just for you.  If you feel the urge to reprove someone, make sure he is a wise man first, and he will love you for it, and become a close friend.

6  9:1  Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

6  9:7  He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

Wisdoms work is finished.  The house is built and the seven pillars are set in place, so there is no more work to do except listen and learn.  Here is something else you ought to know.  If you reprove a scorner you are brought to shame because there is no way to handle them.  They are beyond your influence unless you become like them.  If you become like them then you take their place.  A wicked man will just target you and there will be no end to the struggle.  Once again you can deal with them in the way they deal with you, but you become a wicked man.

7  9:2  She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

7  9:6  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Wisdom has prepared everything and all you need to do is come to the feast.  It does involve change in your life because you leave the foolish behind.  That is not a loss.  You go in the way of understanding and you begin to live.

8  9:3  She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

8  9:5  Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

The sound has gone out and you cannot miss hearing it, because they have placed themselves so everyone knows of the invitation.  Would you refuse to come to a banquet to which you are personally invited?  A banquet that promises to be something valuable to you, with no hidden costs, and no tricks.

By me princes rule – Proverbs 8:1-31

Portrait of a lawyer moving up on a staircase and smiling

16  8:16   By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

You must accept the argument that tells you that wisdom is worthwhile because all the important people in our world use wisdom to enable them to do their work.  This matter is the subject of this bracket of proverbs.

1  8:1     Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

1  8:31   Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

The message that wisdom has for us is that it is specifically for men and women to use.  All the best parts of wisdom are for man.  If he does not use wisdom then wisdom is of no use in the world.  It is part of being human to look for and find wisdom.

2  8:2     She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

2  8:30   Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

Wisdom does not hide.  It is easy to find.  And the reason you seek it as a priority is, wisdom was God’s companion when he made all things.  Everything had to fit into place, and you need wisdom to make that happen.

3  8:3     She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

3  8:29   When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations:

Wisdom presents herself everywhere so men have easy access to take her, and use her.  God used wisdom when he settled the way water was controlled so it did not spoil everything by unleashing its might at the wrong time.  It is an argument for taking up the offer and employing this useful assistant in our difficult task of coping with life and all we come across.

4  8:4     Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

4  8:28   When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

She calls to men of quality but her message goes out to all men wherever they are.  The things wisdom could do in the beginning, men have not been able to fathom to this day.  We have scientist who cannot tell you how it all holds together.  They can guess about the workings, but they cannot do what is done.  If they could they would make it rain on call, but they cannot do that.

5  8:5     O you simple, understand wisdom: and, you fools, be you of an understanding heart.

5  8:27   When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a    compass upon the face of the depth:

If you take up the offer you too could be able to solve unsolvable problems.  You will be able to work out what is going on in your complexed world.  You are not asked to sort out things that belong to God, just things that belong to you.  To do that you will need wisdom, as God needed wisdom.

6  8:6     Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

6  8:26   While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

If someone promised to tell you only things that are right, you would have to take up that offer.  We consult constantly and half the time we are led astray.  Would it not be useful if every time you consulted another you were told the truth?  We know she only speaks truth, because the earth works properly, it is not partly right and partly broken.  It works perfectly.  We are the ones who are partly right and partly broken.

7  8:7      For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

7  8:25    Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

What a relief.  Someone is going to only speak truth.  Here is one who considers wickedness an abomination.  How many associates can you count of whom you can say this with conviction.  Once again we know she only speaks truth, because the mountains are still there, and so are the hills.

8  8:8     All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

8  8:24   When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water          

Can you say of many of your friends there is nothing froward or perverse in the things they say.  There is no prejudice, racism, discrimination, injustice, self-interest.  Yet wisdom offers this without question.  She will give good advice and will take all the right issues into account.  She has been around long enough to know firsthand all the things men do.

9  8:9     They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

9  8:23   I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

If you get wisdom and understanding you will know all these things, and will not stumble through ignorance.  A great part of wisdom is compassion, and with this you will not condescend and behave like a master.  You will not do offensive things.

10  8:10   Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

10  8:22   The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

With all that silver and gold can do for you, wisdom can do more.  God made it the principle thing before he started doing his works.  So how important is it to get this matter sorted?

11  8:21   That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures                                                           

11  8:11   For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared.

Attend to wisdom first and these other things will follow.  They are less important and less valuable anyway, so put them in their proper place.

12  8:12   I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

12  8:20   I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

Wisdom is in the business of solving problems, and there are no greater problem than issues between people who ought to agree.  Imagine your children dealing with complexed problems without wisdom.

13  8:13   The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, do I hate.

13  8:19   My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

Wisdom hates these things and you should hate them as well.  It makes sense to get wisdom so you are together in this.  You do not only get to know what to do, you get to know what not to do.

14  8:14   Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

14  8:18   Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and        righteousness.

Strength is important.  There are those who have understanding but not the strength of character to use it.  Wisdom will give you this.  And on the matter of wealth and security, wisdom is an expert as well.

15  8:15   By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

15  8:17   I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

Kings and princes have to have wisdom or they will not remain in their job.  The job will swallow them up.  If you can imagine you can do without it, or put off wisdom, then you are one of the simple ones.  Notice the climax of the group mentions the princes and kings again, because this is the subject of the group.

I have decked my bed – Proverbs 7:6-27


Why would she go to all this trouble, and why would she be telling you? She is about to seduce you, and you need to be prepared.

11  7:16   I have decked my bed with coverings of  tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

11  7:17   I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

These proverbs appear at the middle of this group and provide us with a subject.  One reading ought to convince you she has gone to some trouble to prepare for this special occasion.  She implies God had a hand in bringing it all about, because it is so fortunate.

1  7:6     For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

1  7:27   Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Unseen behind the casement wisdom (the observer) was able to see what happened without influencing the outcome.  She knew where the place was that was a danger.  She knew what goes on in there, and could draw a conclusion about those who go into that place.  The conclusion she drew was that God has nothing to do with what goes on in there.

2  7:7     And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

2  7:26   For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

He was not one of the blessed of God, he was an empty head, who did not know which way was up.  She eats strong men for breakfast and this simple soul was dead meat.

3  7:8     Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

3  7:25   Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

He was just ambling along making his way to wherever it was he was going, and he just happened to light on her corner and inevitably passed by her house.  It would be so easy to draw the conclusion that God sent him that way.  It was the will of God you hear them say.

4  7:9     In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

4  7:24   Hearken unto me now therefore, O you children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

But wait a minute.  He ambled by her place three times in the one day, in the twilight, at evening, and in the black and dark night.  This was no chance event.  This was not the will of God at all.  It was by design that he was there, and he does not want to be redirected.

5  7:10   And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

5  7:23   Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

She was dressed like a tart, and made the moves as they do, but she was different.  She told him she was a religious person caught in a difficulty, and she was hoping to be delivered by a white knight.

6  7:11   She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

6  7:22   He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

Her approach might betray her softer side, but then she was not sure what she was dealing with here.  You simply reassure the ox your plans are good, and it will be safe from danger if it just does as it is told.  And then its neck is fixed in the stocks.  Even then it resigns itself, feeling no uneasiness.

7  7:12   Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.  

7  7:21   With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

Wisdom has seen it over and over, and it is a ritual with some variations, but the end is the same.  He is caught and confined and she is in total control.

8  7:13   So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

8  7:20   He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

The story about “the good man of the house” is just a story, part of the patter.  She wants to infer she does not do this often, but there is nothing to prevent it on this occasion.  It is clearly a fortunate event, bringing two star-crossed lovers into each others arms.

9  7:14   I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

9  7:19   For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

I am up-to-date with all religious issues.  I have a clean sheet, and it is all squared away, so everything is in order.  The Goodman of the house will not be back for a longtime.

10  7:15   Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

10  7:18   Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

And I had this uncontrollable urge to find you, and so I went out to see what it meant, and there you were.  It had never happened like this before, it must be something special.  We are destined to be together.  The summary presents what he heard in all those words.

Bind them on your fingers – Proverbs 7:1-5

Vater leistet Erste Hilfe

If we are to remember something important, we need a reminder.

3  7:3   Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

There are only a few rules to remember so you do not need many pieces of string.  Concentrate on finding a wife who believes the same as you do.  As we have seen already, you need to look in the right places.

1  7:1   My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

1  7:5   That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the    stranger which flattereth with her words.

You need protection, because if she gets hold you will suffer.  You must realize this instruction precedes the modern age where you can divorce a husband and wife with a minimum of fuss, and the kids have so many friends without biological parents they will soon get over it.  They never get over it.

2  7:2   Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple  of thine eye.

2  7:4   Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding   thy kinswoman:

Solomon is in the business of saving his readers from the heartbreak of having your own children torn apart by turmoil, as if this is the normal way to live.

Can a man take fire in his bosom – Proverbs 6:20-35

Venice Carnival

If we do something stupid we will pay the price.

8  6:27   Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

8  6:28   Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

The answer is you cannot do any of those without serious damage.  As the subject for this group each proverb refers to this question.  Do these things and you will be damaged.

1  6:20   My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

1  6:35   He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

This is irreparable and it will last a lifetime.  If the advice of father and mother kept a son from this, then they would be able to say they have done well.  When he offends they will be ashamed.

2  6:21   Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

2  6:34   For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

If there is anything he can do to damage you then he will make it his business to do it.  Do you imagine you can rest with the threat of this hanging over your head?  If you put something around your neck to remind you of something then let it remind you of this.  You cannot do this.

3  6:22   When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

3  6:33   A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

Consider the two again.  The one will bless you, while the other will take everything away.  You will have occasion to wonder why you are living.

4  6:23   For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

4  6:32   But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh           understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

He would have to be crazy.  To imagine you can do it and get away with it.  And imagine you can live with it when it goes wrong.  You will be known as one of the foolish people.

5  6:24   To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

5  6:31   But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

Hold to the truth and follow instruction and you will avoid even the temptation to offend in this way.  He will lose everything he has managed to collect so far, and he will have nothing to look forward to, because no one will have anything to do with him.

6  6:25   Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

6  6:30   Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;

It is shameful because all men know what it is like to have to deal with the problem, and they have dealt with it.  They can forgive you for some matters, but they will not overlook this.

7  6:29   So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

7  6:26   For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

There are forces at work here that you need a strategy to avoid.  If you fail to put it in place, or consider the matter of no importance, then you are finished, and no one can help.

These six things I hate – Proverbs 6:12-19

Elderly man thinking

Now we get down to it. If you want to irritate God and have him as an enemy then disregard this advice. Here God focuses on things that cause much trouble for others.

4  6:15   Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall  he be broken without remedy.

4  6:16   These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

The calamity will come suddenly because God will bring it on.  He will tolerate certain things, but know this, there are some things he hates.  Make a habit of doing those things and you will find yourself in so much trouble you will not know if you are Arthur or Martha.

1  6:12   A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.

1  6:19   A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

It starts with a crooked mouth and ends doing the thing that is certain to have God’s attention on his every move.

2  6:13   He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he             teacheth with his fingers;

2  6:18   An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be         swift in running to mischief,

He does all the things that would endear him to you but his heart is busy devising wicked imaginations.  His feet are running to devise mischief.  When he has all the parts in place he will implement the plan that will damage you.

3  6:14   Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief               continually; he soweth discord.

3  6:17   A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

His heart is crooked and cannot change.  He will cause offense because he does not know better.  This one is for the high jump and nothing will bring him back.

Go to the ant you sluggard – Proverbs 6:1-11

la mêlée au rugby

6  6:6   Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

This is a powerful proverb because the ant is a resourceful, selfless and enterprising individual.  Solomon selected this proverb to discourage people from failing to complete because they were not careful enough.

1  6:1     My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

1  6:11   So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

People feel poverty comes slowly like a gradual eating away at your reserves, but it does not.  Poverty comes to the sluggard like a bandit who jumps out of the darkness and just takes all you have.  It happens like that because the sluggard is so lazy he does not put security in place, and he does foolish things like striking hands with a stranger assuming his friend is going to pay the stranger what he owes.  That is not what a careful person would do.  You could lose all you possess, because you told the stranger you would pay if your friend did not.

2  6:2    Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

2  6:10  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

He is so careless he traps himself with his own mouth.  He makes commitments he cannot keep and he ends in debt.  And what is wrong with resting when you are weary?  Nothing at all, except there are loose-ends that need to be tied up, and rest comes after that.

3  6:3   Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself,

3  6:9   How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Wake up.  You use that expression often to draw attention to somebody who is dozing off.  Be aware, and do not allow yourself to get into these impossible positions.  How long before you are going to realize you need to be alert and do your job?

4  6:4   Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

4  6:8   Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

When the work is running then you run too.  If the ant waited until winter to gather food there would be none around to collect.  If he did not gather in harvest he would miss out.  So when you have to do the work then give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids, just get the necessary done.

5  6:5   Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

5  6:7   Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

The roe does not have someone standing by to tell him when to run.  The ant does not have an overseer cracking the whip to get him to go out and forage for food.  There is no one ordering the ant to work harder.  He could not work harder if there were.  Take a leaf out of his book.  Deliver yourself.  You are at risk of getting caught and trapped in something that will injure you.  Wake up.

How have I hated instruction – Proverbs 5:1-23

abhorernced blonde woman on black background

12  5:12   And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;    

Have you ever heard your son or daughter say this to you?  When did I do this or that?  It forms the subject of this group of proverbs and becomes an issue to deal with in this important matter of getting it right.

1  5:1     My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my         understanding:

1  5:23   He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

If you do not attend to my instruction, and bow thine ear to mine understanding then you will die without instruction and go astray.  This has the affect of putting a serious edge to something this young man thinks is unimportant.  The summary focuses on how serious it is.

2  5:2     That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

2  5:22   His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

Instruction is to avoid the cost of iniquities and ensure you are not trapped by your foolishness.  Why would someone ignore this advice?  You need to grow up.

3  5:3    For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

3  5:21  For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

No one claimed she was not attractive and desirable.  We did not mislead you to cause you to miss out.  The problem is not obvious at the start, but becomes an overwhelming issue in the end.  And God is interested in whether you value the difference.  He knows why you insist on taking her, and he knows why you despise the wise choice.

4  5:4     But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.

4  5:20   And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

It is not enough to say you love her.  You will not love the result when the children you love turn away from you, and are turned away from your God.  It will be as bitter as wormwood, and will be like a dagger in your side.  So why are you so insistent you must have her?  It does not make sense.  Does the truth mean nothing.

5  5:5     Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

5  5:19   Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished with her love.

You have a choice.  Select the strange woman and she will lead you to the grave, or select a wife of your community and she will do you good all of your life.  Ignore this and you will know about it to your shame.  Some things haunt you all your days, and this is the most important.  Get this wrong and no one can help you fix it.

It has often happened and has not always had such devastating penalties.  He is telling adolescents what is important to them.  You do not qualify the message, so it becomes so dilute it does not mean anything.  You keep the message solid, for most of the time it works out to be a disaster.  It may work out that a young man can bring his strange woman into the truth.  But it does not always happen.

6  5:6     Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

6  5:18   Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

The strange woman will satisfy all your desires right until she does not care to do it anymore.  Then she will change, and you will not understand why.  It has to do with the fact she was coerced at the start.  In marriage you need a blessing.  If God is not with you in this you do not stand a chance.  The wife of your youth needs to the right one, or the ground will shift on you.

7  5:7     Hear me now therefore, O you children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

7  5:17   Let them be only thine own, and not a strangers’ with thee.

She will share many things with you, but what she will not share are the words, because she does not believe them.  You have many things in common, but what you need to have in common is your hope.

8   5:8    Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

8  5:16   Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

Escape, for if you do not it will be like turning the tap on and allowing all the water to run away.  It will be like throwing everything down-the-drain.  And that is not smart.  That is a waste.  People argue against what you want to do because they know you will regret the waste in the end.

9  5:9     Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:

9  5:15   Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

If you drink waters out of your own cistern then you will not be giving your honor to others.  This all means you select a wife from the community that believes and teaches what you believe, and you know you will agree with them and conflict will not occur.  If you do not go to your own community to find a wife, then you give your years to the cruel, and you will find out just how cruel when you try to teach your children the truth.

10  5:10   Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

10  5:14  I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

How can there be evil in the congregation?  That is one place where evil should not be.  Here you are, the person who will not listen and you are in the congregation and you are in trouble.  Instruction is so you will know not to cause trouble in the congregation, because that is the place where trouble does not belong.  It is a place of refuge from trouble.  You must have a place to go to get away from trouble.

11  5:11   And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

11  5:13   And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

There will be regret.  It comes with the policy of defending yourself all the time, when you do not want to listen and do what you should.  It will all come home to roost and you will have occasion to think about your general attitude.  No they did not answer the question: “when did I do this or that?”   Because you have covered your tracks and hidden the matter, you will mourn in the end.  You have not obeyed the voice of your teacher.

Keep your heart – Proverbs 4:20-27

Happy moments

4  4:23   Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

4  4:24   Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse ips put far from thee.

Another two proverbs to make up the center subject.  Your heart is where your conscience lies.  It is who you are.  You have to keep it because you do not want things in there that are going to change who you want to be.  When we say keep it, what we mean is get out of the habit of speaking froward or crooked and corrupt things , and whatever you do, prevent lies from coming out of your mouth.  You do that and you are well on your way to keeping your heart in top condition.

1  4:20   My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

1  4:27   Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

It is a question of focus.  It involves looking at the mark and heading straight for it.  Do not be distracted by what is on the right or the left.  If you come across evil then tell your feet to take you out of there.  Walk away as fast as you can.  You do not need to draw attention to yourself, you just have to get out.

2  4:21   Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

2  4:26   Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

Put these two proverbs together and they say: think about it, and plan.  If you have thought it through there will be no surprises, and you do not need surprises.  You are walking a path, just make sure it leads to the place where you plan to go.  What you do not need is to arrive and find you are in the wrong place.

3  4:22   For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

3  4:25   Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

The place you want to be is where the people you love and respect gather.  They will tell you where to go and what to avoid, because it is their concern and interest to ensure you make it to the end of the journey.

Go not in the way of evil men – Proverbs 4:10-19

Shady man

Again there are two proverbs to give us the subject. Both are needed, because the one tells us what to do and the second tells us how to do it.

5  4:14   Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

5  4:15   Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

We do not often get two proverbs making up the subject of the group.  You will notice they compliment one another and seal the point.  What we are talking about is a path and a way.  You can argue all you want about whether a thing is right or wrong, it is not the issue.  If it is leading you in a way or down a path, then you MUST avoid it, pass not by it, turn away from it and go somewhere else.  And this group is going to give you the reason.

1  4:10   Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

1  4:19   The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

There is confusion and hesitation in the way of the wicked.  You live on the edge, with all the tension that brings into your life.  They live in darkness, which means they do not know where they are going or what they are doing, because they cannot see where things are leading them.  It is not the place to be, you could go mad in that environment.  And they do.  They turn to alcohol and drugs.  They just want to get their head straight.

2  4:11   I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

2  4:18   But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

On the other hand the just are on a path where everything is clear and bright and you can see where you are heading.  It is so bright you can see into the future of the whole matter, the hope of the just.

 3   4:12   When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

 3  4:17   For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

You need certainty.  You do not want to fall over in this race, because it is important to win.  Everyone eats, and everyone drinks, but there is a difference.  What they eat is the bread of wickedness and what they drink is the wine of violence.  And that fare is not good for you.  We watch what we eat and drink because we know it is important.

4  4:13   Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

4  4:16   For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause to fall.

Wisdom and instruction is your life.  That is how important it is.  Imagine living your life having not met your quota of mischief for the day.  If you have not caused someone to fall you have not made your income.  How can you sleep under those circumstances.  Their life and hope is draining away if they do not do evil things, because that is how they make their money.

I would like you to notice the summary puts a more positive spin on the reason we do not go the way of evil men than the single proverbs.