Bible Recall: POINTS IN PROVERBS
Solomon is writing these words as a father instructing his son. “Hear, my children, the instruction of a father…” (Prov. 4:1). “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding” (Prov. 5:1). “Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth” (Prov. 5:7).
We may not always know “why” God expressly forbids certain choices, behaviors, or patterns in life, but as His children, we must learn to heed rather than question His commands. We should have enough faith in God that as our Father what He commands is for our good.
The good advice of any father or teacher is only as effective as it is received and obeyed. Proverbs 5:13, “I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!” While some children will heed the warnings, others are not inclined to hear, turning a deaf ear or perhaps think the advice is exaggerated and so pass it by to experience the temporary thrills of sin.
Proverbs 5-7 outlines a formula for failure, a recipe for ruin. Our title stems from Proverbs 5:14:
“I was on the verge of total ruin, In the midst of the assembly and congregation."
WHAT CAN LEAD TO THE VERGE OF TOTAL RUIN?
- Ruined with adultery (5:1-23). Any good marriage will be brought to the verge of total ruin with adultery. Flirting with and chasing someone other than your spouse is a proven poison to kill your marriage. Looking leads to lusting which so often leads to pursuing what is off limits (2 Sam. 11:1-4). In studying the latter life of David, we see a man who was on the verge of total ruin. His honor was given to others, aliens were filled with his strength, his days were marked with mourning, and his bodily strength zapped (Psa. 32:1-4). Sin brings with it cords that continue to weave a noose around us (Prov. 5:22). The solution against ruining a good marriage is profoundly simple in this chapter but sadly often ignored.
“____________ your way far from her, And do not go ____________ the ____________ of her house” (5:8). The advice is not: “flirt responsibly.” Rather, wisdom commands to stay out of her way—do not even go “near” the door of her house! The naïve might ponder, “but where is the harm? Why can I not go close to the house as long I do not enter in?” Everyone who sins has first approached the door to sin before entering!
Rather than approaching an immoral woman, Solomon stresses to be satisfied and rejoice in your own woman (5:15-20). Water is an essential need for a man. Solomon is saying that your marital needs must be met at home even as one would want to drink pure and fresh water from a good source. Rather than drink polluted water, let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the wife of your youth. Again, the advice is simple and straightforward to avoid the verge of total ruin.
- Ruined with bad financial promises (6:1-5). Solomon warns against entering into debt by being a guarantee for a friend. He warns to find escape even as a gazelle would run from a hunter or a bird from the fowler. This does not mean, however, that we should run away from acts of charity for the poor or be willing to help a friend who is in need (Prov. 14:21; 27:10). However, to avoid the verge of total ruin, act wisely financially.
- Ruined with idleness (6:6-10). He tells the sluggard to observe a rather insignificant creature to learn a substantial lesson. The ant, though small has a giant-sized motivated work-ethic! The Bible in Basic English translates, “Go to the ant, you hater of work; give thought to her ways and be wise:” (Prov. 6:6). Without an overseer, the ant is self-motivated to harness and guide her drive to put in a full day’s work preparing even for the bad days. Solomon warns that being lazy and hating work will strip you of your prosperity as fast as a thief which breaks in and plunders your possessions. Being slothful will take you to the verge of total ruin.
- Ruined with perversity (6:10-15). “A worthless person” is described here. The word for “worthless” was often transliterated by the King James translators as “Belial” (see Deut. 13:13; Jud. 19:22; 20:13; 1 Sam. 1:16; 2:12; 10:27; 25:25; etc.). It essentially means profits nothing. Though he is showy by winking with his eyes and shuffling his feet, he has a perverse mouth and devises wickedness in his heart. I think the warning is that of a dishonest man where there is a lack of good in character and a very real contradiction in what he says versus what he actually accomplishes. This one will be broken beyond repair and is on the verge of total ruin.
- Ruined by engaging in the things God hates (6:16-19). Seven abominations are listed here:
- A proud look. The look of pride reflects a heart full of pride. A heart full of pride is a heart that has no room for God. “The wicked in his ____________ ____________ does not seek [God]; God [is] in ____________ of his ____________” (Psa. 10:4).
- A lying tongue. “Lying lips [are] an ____________ to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully [are] His delight” (Prov. 12:22). Lying lips are weaponized words of hatred, “A lying tongue hates [those who are] crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin” (Prov. 26:28). The gossip, slanderer, etc. work only from hatred no matter how loving they may try to come across.
- Hands that shed innocent blood. Murder is the unmerciful and unjust killing of the innocent. It completely defies the righteous character of our God who in mercy extends life to those who will heed (Deut. 27:25; 2 Kin. 24:4; Jn. 3:16; 5:26; 1 Tim. 6:13; Jude 1:21). Liars and murders will be grouped together in hell (Rev. 21:8). Human history is littered with countless and senseless killings. It appears to be an ever-constant plague of human godlessness. "Their feet [are] swift to shed blood” (Rom. 3:15).
- A heart that devises wicked plans. God calls for a cleansing of the heart, “O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, That you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?” (Jer. 4:14).
- Feet that run to evil. They have a zeal to accomplish what they have designed by their hearts. They run to evil! Christ calls us to cling to and pursue what is good (1 Thess. 5:21; Titus 1:8; Rom. 12:9).
- A false witness (cf. Zech. 8:17). “A man who bears false witness against his neighbor [Is like] a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow” (Prov. 25:18). Again, weaponized words are in view! He has become an instrument for that person’s death and is, therefore, an equal participant in the outcome. "You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand __________ the wicked to be an unrighteous ____________” (Exod. 23:1).
- One who sows discord. Such is tightly connected to the perversity within the heart and the construction of evil (Prov. 6:14). “Best friends” have separated from each other due to the whispering of a slanderer (Prov. 16:28)!
Solomon returns to the destructive element of adultery in 6:20-7:27 and the warning is against putting yourself on a pathway to such a temptation. There cannot be a stronger case made against infidelity and the temptations of it than what is found in this study. The wise will take it to heart. The foolish will dismiss these warnings and pass on to their own destruction. Their lives will end like a dried-up crust of bread (Prov. 6:26).
Sexual infidelity can be enticing; yet it is dangerous, damaging, and destructive not only to the present, but in eternity (Heb. 13:4). However, Jesus died to take away all our sins. Rahab left harlotry and married one from Judah becoming one of our Lord’s ancestors (Matt. 1:5). Harlots found favor with Christ when they turned to Him (Matt. 21:31, 32; Jn. 8:1-11). With the Lord we can leave “the verge of total ruin” by escaping a house that descends to the chambers of death and be transformed with a new hope and destination in heaven (1 Pet. 3:21; 1:3, 4)!
—Steven J. Wallace
Bible Recall: POINTS IN PROVERBS
“Wisdom is the principal thing” (Prov. 4:7). Every man’s life is defined by what they prioritize. The wise man makes wisdom the principal or first thing in his quest to see things from God’s viewpoint.
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord [is]” (Eph. 5:17).
Wisdom, therefore, preserves us from making bad and foolish choices without having to experience them. “Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you” (Prov. 4:6). It also works to our promotion, “Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring honor, when you embrace her” (Prov. 4:8). To forsake wisdom is to not love wisdom.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER IN THIS CHAPTER:
- The definition of a Bible “hearer” (4:1). The wise man hears in giving attention to know and understand.
- The definition of being “taught” (4:4). Solomon was “taught” by David when his heart retained David’s words and he kept his father’s commandments. The forgetful hearer cannot be taught well by wisdom (4:5). This is not because of any flaw of the teacher, necessarily, but because of the listener’s failure to retain.
- James 1:25, “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues [in it], and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
- To retain teaching is to actively reproduce it in our lives (see also Jas. 1:22ff).
- The commission to utterly abandon the pathway of evil (4:14-19). Notice the energies in avoiding this pathway parallel the same level of intensity of getting wisdom and understanding (see 4:5, 6).
- 1 Timothy 6: 11, 12: “But you, O man of God, __________ these things and __________ righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. __________ the good __________ of faith, __________ _________ on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
- 2 Timothy 2:22, 23: “__________ also youthful lusts; but __________ righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But __________ foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.”
- The source for all of life’s endeavors—the heart (4: 23). Since the issues of life spring from the heart, the heart must be trained and well protected.
The question, “What is good for me?” See 1 Corinthians 10:31. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
The question of, “How often must I assemble with the Saints?” See Hebrews 10:25. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
My participation with drugs, dancing, smoking, viewing pornographic material, profanity, sexual immorality, etc. (1 Thess. 5:21-23; 1 Cor. 6:20; Matt. 5:28)?
The mouth (4:24; cf. Matt. 12:34-37; Jas. 1:26)?
The eyes (Prov. 4:25; cf. Matt. 6:22, 23; 2 Pet. 2:14)? _________________________________________________________________________________________________
The feet (Prov. 4:26; cf. Psa. 119:59; Heb. 12:13)? __________________________________________________________________________________________________
Proverbs chapter four works with very active language in describing a man’s direction or walk in life. By wisdom his walk is not hindered and when he runs he will not stumble (4:12). The chapter could be divided up as:
- The preservation and promotion of wisdom (4:1-13).
- The destructive path of sinners (4:14-19).
- The wellspring of life (4:20-27).
—Steven J. Wallace
Bible Recall: POINTS IN PROVERBS
Proverbs chapter three demonstrates the fear of the Lord is connected with practical trust in the Lord. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). As an outline for a sermon, Solomon defines trust in the Lord as:
- Regarding the law (3:1, 2).
- Wearing mercy and truth (3:3, 4).
- Not devising your own ways but learning His ways (3:5, 6).
- Possessing Humility and departing from evil (3:7, 8).
- Honoring the Lord with your prosperity (3:9, 10).
- Never despising God’s fatherly correction (3:11, 12).
In the last article, we saw how Proverbs teaches by consequences as well as synonymous parallelism. Chapter three is filled with “consequential teaching” where doing action “a” results in reaping “b.” For example, not forgetting and keeping my law proverbially results in the length of days and peace (3:1, 2). Again, wearing mercy and truth around your neck and inscribing these qualities on the tablet of your heart results in finding favor with God and man (3:3, 4).
How important is it to love and be courteous to the Lord and to people in general?
- Notice how Paul employed the wisdom of this proverb in Romans 14:15-19.
- “And be ____________ to one another, ____________, ____________ one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
Practical Self Applications:
- What do I do to acknowledge God in all my ways so that He will direct my steps (Prov. 3:6)? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- How would pride and an over inflated view of self-worth hamper the relationship we are to have with God and men (Prov. 3:7)? First look in Proverbs 3 for answers. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- How can I honor the Lord with my prosperity (Prov. 3:9)? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- What are some ways I could despise the correction of the Lord today (Prov. 3:11, 12)? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- How might I withhold good from those to whom it is due (Prov. 3:27, 28; cf. Rom. 13:7; Gal. 6:10)? Who makes it my “due” to give good anyway? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Proverbs chapter three has many practical applications for godly living. Read it carefully and frequently this month.
You could divide the chapter up into two main sections:
- Do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:1-12).
- Wisdom is better than earthly riches to find and promote peace and happiness (Prov. 3:13-35).
—Steven J. Wallace
The previous lesson noted that Proverbs is a book that makes a pronounced difference between two kinds of people and two walks of life: the foolish and the wise. Proverbs 1:7 contains the keynote of the book, “The fear of the Lord” and underscores the fundamental division between the wise man and the fool. One fears the Lord while the other despises wisdom and instruction. One is walking in God’s creation with a view toward God’s instruction. The fool, however, lives in a world which he did not create and in which he cannot control, yet he rages on in self-confidence governed by a delusional belief that he is fully capable to charter his own course in life without any belief of God much less without any instruction from God. One boasts in God’s wisdom while the other is wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs chapter two extends the application of “the fear of the Lord.” It answers, “How and where wisdom ought to be deposited.” The storehouse of wisdom is the heart. Although God “stores up sound wisdom for the upright,” one must reach out and take these things into the heart. Recall: “When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul…” (2:10).
To view the rest of this article with the pdf version attached, click here: https://www.lubbockchurch.com/resources/articles/2019/05/04/proverbs-2
Greetings Bible Recall List! We have some new members since we finished a year of memorization exercises on the New Testament. I want to welcome you! The memory verses are found here: http://www.lubbockchurch.com/resources/bible-recall The lessons on the memory verses are found on our blog page here: http://www.lubbockchurch.com/about/blog
Brother Kyle Hammock preached on spiritual growth yesterday (March 31, 2019). As a small part of that journey in spiritual growth, I am resuming Bible Recall in a new direction—THE BOOK OF PROVERBS.
On the first Monday of the month, I will send out a lesson from Proverbs. We will begin with Proverbs 1 for April. I would encourage you to consider five exercises:
- Carefully read the chapter of the month. You might want to read it several times throughout the month.
- Read the article.
- Choose a verse or set of verses in the chapter to memorize for that month. A good suggestion from a young member in Washington State is to partner up with someone to hold each other accountable in choosing a passage to memorize it. Use our suggestions on memorization helps found here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/biblerecall/TgMvHCzBMxE
- Find ways to apply the wisdom from Proverbs in your own life.
- Share the wisdom in Proverbs with another person. Encourage others to join the list. Relate any lessons that you have learned or benefit from as it pertains to the Scripture assignment. (Today it is easier than ever to share information with email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. But also a good ole fashion letter mailed or verbal conversation has its own peculiar benefit too!) These lessons can also be used for family bible study time.
These articles will be posted in our articles page: https://www.lubbockchurch.com/resources/articles